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(Daodejing 41) 

The superior student who hears about the Way practices it diligently. 

The middling student who hears about the Way now keeps it and now loses it. 
The inferior student who hears about the Way laughs at it loudly; 

If he did not laugh, it would have fallen short of the Way. 




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1 . The divine root conceives, its source revealed; Mind and nature nurtured, the Great Dao is born. 

2. Fully awoke to Bodhi’s wondrous truths; He cuts off Mara, returns to the root, and joins Primal Spirit. 

3 . Four Seas and a Thousand Mountains all bow to submit; From Ninefold Darkness ten species ’names are removed. 

4 . Appointed a Ban-Horse, could he be content? Named Equal to Heaven, he’s still not appeased. 

5 . Disrupting the Peach Festival, the Great Sage steals elixir; With revolt in Heaven, many gods would seize the fiend. 

6. Guanyin, attending the banquet, inquires into the cause; The Little Sage, exerting his power, subdues the Great Sage. 

7 . From the Eight Trigrams Brazier the Great Sage escapes; Beneath the Five Phases Mountain, Mind Monkey is still. 

8 . Our Buddha makes scriptures to impart ultimate bliss; Guanyin receives the decree to go up to Chang 'cm. 

9 . Chen Guangrui, going to his post, meets disaster; Monk River Float, avenging his parents, repays his roots. 

10 . The Old Dragon King’s foolish schemes transgress Heaven s decrees; Prime Minister Wei’s letter seeks help from an official of the dead. 

11 . Having toured the Underworld, Taizong returns to life; Having presented melons and fruits, Liu Quail marries again. 

12 . The Tang emperor, firmly sincere, convenes a Grand Mass; Guanyin, in epiphany, converts Gold Cicada. 

13 . In the den of tigers, the Gold Star brings deliverance; At Double-Fork Ridge, Boqin detains the monk. 

14 . Mind Monkey returns to the Right; The Six Robbers vanish from sight. 

15 . At Serpent Coil Mountain, the gods give secret protection; At Eagle Grief Stream, the Horse of the Will is reined. 

16 . At Guanyin Hall the monks plot for the treasure; At Black Wind Mountain a monster steals the cassock. 

17 . Pilgrim Sun greatly disturbs the Black Wind Mountain; Guanshiyin brings to submission the bear monster. 

18 . At Guanyin Hall the Tang Monk leaves his ordeal; At Gao Village the Great Sage casts out the monster. 

19 . At Cloudy Paths Cave, Wukong takes in Eight Rules; At Pagoda Mountain, Tripitaka receives the Heart Sutra. 

20 . At Yellow Wind Ridge the Tang Monk meets adversity; In mid-mountain, Eight Rules strives to be first. 

2 1 . The Viharapalas prepare lodging for the Great Sage; Lingji of Sumeru crushes the wind demon. 

22. Eight Rules fights fiercely at the Flowing-Sand River; Moksa by order receives Wujing’s submission. 

23 . Tripitaka does not forget his origin; The Four Sages test the priestly mind. 

24 . At Long Life Mountain the Great Immortal detains his old friend; At Five Villages Abbey, Pilgrim steals the ginseng fruit. 

25 . The Zhenyuan Immortal gives chase to catch the scripture monk; Pilgrim Sun greatly disturbs Five Villages Abbey. 

26. Amid the Three Islands Sun Wukong seeks a cure; With sweet dew Guanshiyin revives a tree. 

27 . The cadaver demon three times mocks Tripitaka Tang; The holy monk in spite banishes Handsome Monkey King. 

28 . At Flower-Fruit Mountain a pack of fiends hold assembly; At the Black Pine Forest Tripitaka meets demons. 

29 . Free of his peril, River Float arrives at the kingdom; Receiving favor, Eight Rules invades the forest. 

30 . A deviant demon attacks the true Dharma; The Horse of the Will recalls Mind Monkey. 

31 . Zhu Eight Rules provokes the Monkey King to chivalry; Pilgrim Sun with wisdom defeats the monster. 

32. On Level-Top Mountain the sentinel brings a message; At Lotus-Flower Cave Wood Mother meets disaster. 

33 . Heresy deludes the True Nature; Primal Spirit helps the Native Mind. 

34 . The demon king’s plotting entraps Mind Monkey; The Great Sage, ever adroit, wangles the treasures. 

35 . Heresy uses power to oppress the proper Nature; Mind Monkey, bagging treasures, conquers deviate demons. 

36 . When Mind Monkey is rectified, the niddnas cease; Smash through the side door to view the bright moon. 

37 . The ghost king visits Tripitaka Tang at night; Wukong, through wondrous transformation, leads the child. 

38 . The child queries his mother to learn of deviancy and truth; Metal and Wood, reaching the deep, see the false and the real. 

39 . One pellet of cinnabar elixir found in Heaven; A king, dead three years, lives again on Earth. 

40 . The child’s playful transformations confuse the Chan Mind; Ape, Horse, Spatula gone, Wood Mother, too, is lost. 

4 1 . Mind Monkey is defeated by fire; Wood Mother is captured by demons. 

42 . The Great Sage diligently calls at South Sea; Guanyin with compassion binds the Red Boy. 

43 . An evil demon at Black River captures the monk; The Western Ocean’s dragon prince catches the iguana. 

44 . The dharma-body in primal cycle meets the force of the cart; The mind, righting monstrous deviates, crosses the spine-ridge pass. 

45 . At the Three Pure Ones Abbey the Great Sage leaves his name; At the Cart Slow Kingdom the Monkey King shows his power. 

46 . Heresy flaunts its strength to mock orthodoxy; Mind Monkey in epiphany slays the deviates. 

47 . The holy monk’s blocked at night at Heaven-Reaching River; Metal and Wood, in compassion, rescue little children. 

48 . The demon, raising a cold wind, sends a great snow fall; The monk, intent on seeing Buddha, walks on layered ice. 

49 . Tripitaka meets disaster and sinks to a water home; To bring salvation, Guanyin reveals a fish basket. 

50 . Nature follows confused feelings through lust and desire; Faint spirit and moved mind meet a demon chief. 

51. Mind Monkey in vain uses a thousand tricks; Futile water and fire makes it hard to smelt demons. 

52. Wukong greatly disturbed the Golden Helmet Cave; Tathagata reveals in secret the true master. 

53. Imbibing, the Chan Lord conceives a ghostly child; Yellow Dame brings water to end the weird fetus. 

54. Dharma-nature, going west, reaches the Women State; Mind Monkey makes a plan to flee the fair sex. 

55. Deviant form makes lustful play for Tripitaka Tang; Upright nature safeguards the untainted self. 

56. Wild Spirit slays brutish bandits; Wayward Way sets loose Mind Monkey. 

57. True Pilgrim lays bare his woes at Mount Potalaka; False Monkey King transcribes texts at Water-Curtain Cave. 

58. Two Minds cause disorder in the great cosmos; It’s hard for one body to realize true Nirvana. 

59. Tripitaka Tang’s path is blocked at Mountain of Flames; Pilgrim Sun baits for the first time the palm-leaffan. 

60. Bull Demon King stops fighting to attend a lavish feast; Pilgrim Sun baits for the second time the palm-leaffan. 

61. Zhu Eight Rules assists in defeating the demon king; Pilgrim Sun baits for the third time the palm-leaffan. 

62. As the Peonies Glow Red, the Ch'ing Fish Breathes Out Its Spell Issuing an Elegy for the Wrongly Killed, the Great Sage Tarries 

63. A New Tang Dynasty Appears on the Western Road; The Glorious Emperor Rests in the Green Jade Palace. 

64. Hsiian-tsang Is To Be Commissioned and Given a Peach Flower Battle-Axe; The Mind-Monkey Is Startled by the Axes of Sky Gougers. 

65. A Crack Reveals a Myriad of Bewildering Mirrors; Where the Shapes of Things Appear, Their Original Form Is Lost. 

66. Through the Cast Bronze Mirror the Mind-Monkey Enters the Past; In Green Pearl's Tower the Wayward Disciple Knits His Brows. 

67. For a Face Half Covered with Tears, the True Beauty Dies; At the Mention of P'ing-hsiang, the General of Ch'u Is Grieved. 

68. 4 Drumbeats Between Ch'in and Ch'u; Beautiful Ladies, True and False, Appear in the Same Mirror. 

69. In the World of the Future, Monkey Exterminates the Six Thieves; As Yama,l for Half a Day Monkey Judges Good and Evil. 

70. How Ch'in Kuei, Even with a Hundred Bodies, Could Not Redeem Himself; The Great Sage Wholeheartedly Takes Refuge in Yiieh Fei. 
1 1. Monkey Returns to the Tower of Myriad Mirrors; In the Palace of Creeping Vines Wu-k'ung Saves Himself. 

72. Reading Accounts Before the Palace of the Hexagram of Limitation; Collecting Hairs on the Crest of the Hill of Grief. 

73. In the Palace of Crying Ospreys, 1 the Tears of the Tang Priest Fall; A Young Girl Plucks the P'i-p'a2 and Sings a Tale. 

74. Monkey Meets an Old Man in Green Bamboo Cave; By the Reed Flowers Monkey Seeks the Emperor of Ch'in. 

75. Young Lord Tang Accepts an Order to Lead the Troops; Lady Green-twine Becomes a Broken Jade by the Pool. 

76. The Tang Priest Musters His Troops Under the Midnight Moon; The Great Sage's Spirit Falters Before the Banners of 5 Colours. 

77. The Elder of the Void Rouses Monkey from His Dream; When the Great Sage Returns, the Sun Is Half Hidden in the Mountains. 

78. To wash off filth, to bathe the mind, just sweep a pagoda; To bind demons and return to the lord is self-cultivation. 

79. Two monks, quelling fiends, disturb the dragon palace; The sages, destroying deviates, acquire the treasures. 

80. At Bramble Ridge Wuneng exerted great effort; At Shrine of Sylvan Immortals Tripitaka discusses poetry . 

81. Fiends set up falsely the Small Thunderclap; The four pilgrims all meet a great ordeal. 

82. Many gods meet injury; Maitreya binds a fiend. 

83. Having rescued Tuoluo, Chan Nature is secure; Escaping filthiness, the Mind of Dao is pure. 

84. At Scarlet-Purple Kingdom the Tang Monk speaks of past eras; Pilgrim Sun performs on an arm broken in three places. 

85. At night the Lord of the Mind refines medicines; At a banquet the king speaks of the perverse fiend. 

86. The monstrous demon s treasures release smoke, sand, and fire; Wukong by stratagem steals the purple-gold bells. 

87. By a false name Pilgrim defeats the fiendish wolf; In epiphany Guanyin subdues the monster-king. 

88. At Cobweb Cave Seven Passions delude the Origin; At Purgation Spring Eight Rules forgets all manners. 

89. Passions, because of old enmity, beget calamity; Demon-trapped, the Mind Lord with luck breaks the light. 

90. Long Life reports how vicious the demons are;Pilgrim displays his transformation power. 

9 1. Mind Monkey drills through the yin-yang body; Demon lords return to the true great Way. 

92. Mind-Spirit dwells at home, and demons revert to nature; Wood Mother together subdues the fiend’s true self. 

93. A horde of demons affront native Nature; The One Body bows to True Suchness. 

94. At Bhiksu he pities the infants and summons the night gods; In the golden hall he knows the demon speaking on the way and virtue. 

95. Searching the cave for the fiend he meets Long Life; The proper lord of the court sees the babies. 

96. The fair girl, nursing the yang, seeks a mate; Mind Monkey, guarding his master, knows a monster. 

91 .At Sea-Pacifying Monastery Mind Monkey knows the fiend; In the black pine forest three pupils search for their master. 

98. The fair girl seeks the yang; Primal spirit guards the Way. 

99. Mind Monkey knows the elixir source; Fair girl returns to her true nature. 

100. “Priests are hard to destroy” completes great awakening; The Dharma-king attains the right, his body’s naturalized. 

101. Mind Monkey envies Wood Mother; The demon lord plots to devour Chan. 

102. Wood Mother, lending power, conquers the fiendish creature; Metal Squire, using his magic, extirpates the deviates. 

103. The Phoenix-Immortal Prefecture offends Heaven and suffers drought; The Great Sage Sun advocates virtue and provides rain. 

104. Reaching Jade-Flower, Chan convenes an assembly; Mind Monkey, Wood, and Earth instruct disciples. 

105. The yellow lion-spirit in vain gives the Muckrake Feast; Gold, Wood, and Earth disturb with a scheme Mount Leopard’s-Head. 

106. Masters and lions, teachers and pupils, all return to the One; Thieves and the Dao, snares and Buddhism, quiet Ninefold-Numina. 

107. At Gold-Level Prefecture they watch lanterns on the fifteenth night; In Mysterious Flower Cave the Tang Monk makes a deposition. 

108. 3 priests fight fiercely at Green Dragon Mountain; Four Stars help to capture rhinoceros fiends. 

109. At Jetavana Park he asks the aged about the cause; At the Kingdom of India he sees the king and meets his mate. 

110. 4 priests are feted at the royal garden; One fiend vainly longs for sensual joys. 

111. Falsely assuming true form, the jade hare’s caught; True Yin returns to the right to join Numinous Source. 

112. Squire Kou gladly receives a noble priest; The elder Tang does not covet riches. 

113. Gold-dispensing external aid meets demonic harm; The sage reveals his soul to bring restoration. 

114. Only when ape and horse are tamed will shells be cast; With merit and work perfected, they see the Real. 

115. Nine times nine ends the count and Mara’s all destroyed; The work of three times three done, the Dao reverts to its root. 

116. They return to the Land of the East; Five sages become perfected. 



The divine root conceives, its source revealed; 

Mind and nature nurtured, the Great Dao is born. 

The poem says: 

•e Chaos s divide, with Heav 'n and Earth a mess, 

? human appeared in this murkiness, 
hen Pan Gu broke the nebula apart ,' 
le dense and pure defined, did clearing start, 
ifold all life supreme humaneness would 
id teach all things how become good they should. 

• know cyclic time's work, if that s your quest, 
tad Tale of Woes Dispelled on Journey West.^ 

We heard that, in the order of Heaven and Earth, a single period consisted of 129,600 years. Dividing this period into twelve epochs 
were the twelve stems of Zi, Chou, Yin, Mao, Chen, Si, Wu, Wei, Shen, Yu, Xu, and Hai, with each epoch having 10,800 years. 
Considered as the horary circle, the sequence would be thus: the first sign of dawn appears in the hour of Zi, while at Chou the cock 
crows; daybreak occurs at Yin, and the sun rises at Mao; Chen comes after breakfast, and by Si everything is planned; at Wu the sun 
arrives at its meridian, and it declines westward by Wei; the evening meal comes during the hour of Shen, and the sun sinks completely 
at Yu; twilight sets in at Xu, and people rest by the hour of Hai. This sequence may also be understood macrocosmically. At the end of 
the epoch of Xu, Heaven and Earth were obscure and all things were indistinct. With the passing of 5,400 years, the beginning of Hai 
was the epoch of darkness. This moment was named Chaos, because there were neither human beings nor the two spheres. After 
another 5,400 years Hai ended, and as the creative force began to work after great perseverance, the epoch of Zi drew near and again 
brought gradual development. Shao Kangjie 3 said: 

hen to the middle ofZi winter moved, 
y change by Heaven's mind had been approved, 
le male principle had but barely stirred, 
it the birth of all things was still deferred. 

At this point, the finnament first acquired its foundation. With another 5,400 years came the Zi epoch; the ethereal and the light rose 
up to form the four phenomena of the sun, the moon, the stars, and the Heavenly bodies. Hence it is said, the Heaven was created at Zi. 
This epoch came to its end in another 5,400 years, and the sky began to harden as the Chou epoch approached. The Classic of Change 

'■eat was the male principle; 
preme, the female! 
ley made all things, 
obedience to Heaven. 

At this point, the Earth became solidified. In another 5,400 years after the arrival of the Chou epoch, the heavy and the turbid 
condensed below and formed the five elements of water, fire, mountain, stone, and earth. Hence it is said, the Earth was created at 
Chou. With the passing of another 5,400 years, the Chou epoch came to its end and all things began to grow at the beginning of the Yin 
epoch. The Book of Calendar said: 

ie Heavenly aura descended; 
te earthly aura rose up. 
zaven and Earth copulated, 
id all things were born. 

At this point. Heaven and Earth were bright and fair; the yin had intercourse with the yang. In another 5,400 years, during the Yin 
epoch, humans, beasts, and fowls came into being, and thus the so-called three forces of Heaven, Earth, and Man were established. 
Hence it is said, man was bom at Yin. 

Following Pan Gu’s construction of the universe, the rule of the Three August Ones, and the ordering of the relations by the Five 
Thearchs, 4 the world was divided into four great continents. They were: the East Purvavideha Continent, the West Aparagodanlya 
Continent, the South Jambudvlpa Continent, and the North Uttarakum Continent. This book is solely concerned with the East 
Purvavideha Continent. 3 

Beyond the ocean there was a country named Aolai. It was near a great ocean, in the midst of which was located the famous Flower- 
Fruit Mountain. This mountain, which constituted the chief range of the Ten Islets and formed the origin of the Three Islands, 6 came 
into being after the creation of the world. As a testimonial to its magnificence, there is the following poetic rhapsody: 

: majesty commands the wide ocean; 

: splendor rules the jasper sea; 

■ majesty commands the wide ocean 

hen, like silver mountains, the tide sweeps fishes into caves; 

: splendor rules the jasper sea 

hen snowlike billows send forth serpents from the deep, 
n the southwest side pile up tall plateaus; 

•om the Eastern Sea arise soaring peaks, 
tere are crimson ridges and portentous rocks, 

■ecipitous cliffs and prodigious peaks, 
op the crimson ridges 
wenixes sing in pairs: 
ifore precipitous cliff's 
i e unicorn singly rests. 

the summit is heard the cry of golden pheasants; 
and out of stony caves are seen the strides of dragons: 

the forest are long-lived deer and immortal foxes, 
n the trees are divine fowls and black cranes, 
range grass and flowers never wither: 

'•een pines and cypresses always keep their spring. 

mortal peaches are ever fruit-bearing; 

fty bamboos often detain the clouds. 

ithin a single gorge the creeping vines are dense; 

le grass color of meadows all around is fresh. 

lis is indeed the pillar of Heaven, where a hundred rivers meet — 

te Earth’s great axis, in ten thousand kalpas unchanged. 

There was on top of that very mountain an immortal stone, which measured thirty-six feet and five inches in height and twenty-four 
feet in circumference. The height of thirty-six feet and five inches corresponded to the three hundred and sixty-five cyclical degrees, 
while the circumference of twenty-four feet corresponded to the twenty-four solar terms of the calendar. 7 On the stone were also nine 
perforations and eight holes, which corresponded to the Palaces of the Nine Constellations and the Eight Trigrams. Though it lacked 
the shade of trees on all sides, it was set off by epidendrums on the left and right. Since the creation of the world, it had been nourished 
for a long period by the seeds of Heaven and Earth and by the essences of the sun and the moon, until, quickened by divine inspiration, 
it became pregnant with a divine embryo. One day, it split open, giving birth to a stone egg about the size of a playing ball. Exposed to 
the wind, it was transfonned into a stone monkey endowed with fully developed features and limbs. Having learned at once to climb 
and run, this monkey also bowed to the four quarters, while two beams of golden light flashed from his eyes to reach even the Palace 
of the Polestar. The light disturbed the Great Benevolent Sage of Heaven, the Celestial Jade Emperor of the Most Venerable Deva, 
who, attended by his divine ministers, was sitting in the Cloud Palace of the Golden Arches, in the Treasure Hall of the Divine Mists. 
Upon seeing the glimmer of the golden beams, he ordered Thousand-Mile Eye and Fair-Wind Ear to open the South Heaven Gate and 
to look out. At this command the two captains went out to the gate, and, having looked intently and listened clearly, they returned 
presently to report, “Your subjects, obeying your command to locate the beams, discovered that they came from the Flower-Fruit 
Mountain at the border of the small Aolai Country, which lies to the east of the East Purvavideha Continent. On this mountain is an 
immortal stone that has given birth to an egg. Exposed to the wind, it has been transfonned into a monkey, who, when bowing to the 
four quarters, has flashed from his eyes those golden beams that reached the Palace of the Polestar. Now that he is taking some food 
and drink, the light is about to grow dim.” With compassionate mercy the Jade Emperor declared, “These creatures from the world 
below are bom of the essences of Heaven and Earth, and they need not surprise us.” 

That monkey in the mountain was able to walk, run, and leap about; he fed on grass and shrubs, drank from the brooks and streams, 
gathered mountain flowers, and searched out fruits from trees. He made his companions the tiger and the lizard, the wolf and the 
leopard; he befriended the civet and the deer, and he called the gibbon and the baboon his kin. At night he slept beneath stony ridges, 
and in the morning he sauntered about the caves and the peaks. Tmly, 

the mountain there is no passing of time; 
te cold recedes, but one knows not the year. ^ 

One very hot morning, he was playing with a group of monkeys under the shade of some pine trees to escape the heat. Look at them, 
each amusing himself in his own way by 

vingingfrom branches to branches, 

arching for flowers and fruits; 

tey played two games or three 

ith pebbles and with pellets; 

ley circled sandy pits; 

tey built rare pagodas; 

tey chased the dragonflies; 

tey ran down small lizards; 

twing low to the sky, 

ley worshiped Bodhisattvas; 

tey pulled the creeping vines; 

tey plaited mats with grass; 

tey searched to catch the louse 

tat they bit or sqeezed to death; 

tey dressed their furry coats; 

tey scraped their fingernails; 

lose leaning leaned; 

lose rubbing rubbed; 

lose pushing pushed; 

lose pressing pressed; 

lose pulling pulled; 

lose tugging tugged. 

meath the pine forest and free to play, 

ley washed themselves in the green-water stream. 

So, after the monkeys had frolicked for a while, they went to bathe in the mountain stream and saw that its currents bounced and 
splashed like tumbling melons. As the old saying goes, 

jwls have their fowl speech, 
id beasts have their beast language. 

The monkeys said to each other, “We don’t know where this water comes from. Since we have nothing to do today, let us follow the 
stream up to its source to have some fun.” With a shriek of joy, they dragged along males and females, calling out to brothers and 
sisters, and scrambled up the mountain alongside the stream. Reaching its source, they found a great waterfall. What they saw was 

column of white rainbows rising, 
thousand yards of snow-caps flying, 
te sea wind blows but cannot sever 
hat a river moon lights up forever. 

. cold breath divides the green glades; 

: branches wet the verdant shades, 
lis torrent named a waterfall 

ems like a curtain hanging tall. 

AU the monkeys clapped their hands in acclaim: “Marvelous water! Marvelous water! So this waterfall is distantly connected with 
the stream at the base of the mountain, and flows directly out, even to the great ocean.” They said also, “If any of us had the ability to 
penetrate the curtain and find out where the water comes from without hurting himself, we would honor him as king.” They gave the 
call three times, when suddenly the stone monkey leaped out from the crowd. He answered the challenge with a loud voice, “I’ll go in! 
I'll go in!” What a monkey! For 

•day his fame will spread wide. 

Is fortune the time does provide. 

2 s fated to live in this place, 
nt by a king to god’s palace. 

Look at hint! He closed his eyes, crouched low, and with one leap he jumped straight through the waterfall. Opening his eyes at once 
and raising his head to look around, he saw that there was neither water nor waves inside, only a gleaming, shining bridge. He paused 
to collect himself and looked more carefully again: it was a bridge made of sheet iron. The water beneath it surged through a hole in 
the rock to reach the outside, filling in all the space under the arch. With bent body he climbed on the bridge, looking about as he 
walked, and discovered a beautiful place that seemed to be some kind of residence. Then he saw 

•esh mosses piling up indigo, 

hite clouds like jade afloat, 

id luminous sheens of mist and smoke; 

npty windows, quiet rooms, 

id carved flowers growing smoothly on benches; 

alactites suspended in milky caves; 

ire blossoms voluminous over the ground. 

ins and stoves near the wall show traces of fire; 

ittles and cups on the table contain left overs. 

le stone seats and beds were truly lovable; 

te stone pots and bowls were more praiseworthy. 

tere were, furthermore, a stalk or two of tall bamboos, 

id three or five sprigs ofplum flowers. 

ith a few green pines always draped in rain, 

lis whole place indeed resembled a home. 

After staring at the place for a long time, he jumped across the middle of the bridge and looked left and right. There in the middle 
was a stone tablet on which was inscribed in regular, large letters: 

ie Blessed Land of Flower-Fruit Mountain, 
le Cave Heaven of Water-Curtain Cave ? 

Beside himself with delight, the stone monkey quickly turned around to go back out and, closing his eyes and crouching again, leaped 
out of the water. “A great stroke of luck,” he exclaimed with two loud guffaws, “a great stroke of luck!” 

The other monkeys surrounded him and asked, “How is it inside? How deep is the water?” The stone monkey replied, “There isn’t 
any water at all. There’s a sheet iron bridge, and beyond it is a piece of Heaven-sent property.” 

“What do you mean that there’s property in there?” asked the monkeys. 

Laughing, the stone monkey said, “This water splashes through a hole in the rock and fills the space under the bridge. Beside the 
bridge there is a stone mansion with trees and flowers. Inside are stone ovens and stoves, stone pots and pans, stone beds and benches. 
A stone tablet in the middle has the inscription, 

ie Blessed Land of the Flower-Fruit Mountain, 
ie Cave Heaven of the Water-Curtain Cave. 

This is truly the place for us to settle in. It is, moreover, very spacious inside and can hold thousands of the young and old. Let’s all go 
live in there, and spare ourselves from being subject to the whims of Heaven. For we have in there 

retreat from the wind, 
shelter from the rain. 

•u fear no frost or snow; 

•u hear no thunderclap. 

1st and smoke are brightened, 
armed by a holy light — 
ie pines are evergreen: 
ire flowers, daily new. ” 

When the monkeys heard that, they were delighted, saying, “You go in first and lead the way.” The stone monkey closed his eyes 
again, crouched low, and jumped inside. “All of you,” he cried, “Follow me in! Follow me in!” The braver of the monkeys leaped in at 
once, but the more timid ones stuck out their heads and then drew them back, scratched their ears, rubbed their jaws, and chattered 
noisily. After milling around for some time, they too bounded inside. Jumping across the bridge, they were all soon snatching dishes, 
clutching bowls, or fighting for stoves and beds—shoving and pushing things hither and thither. Befitting their stubbornly prankish 
nature, the monkeys could not keep still for a moment and stopped only when they were utterly exhausted. 

The stone monkey then solemnly took a seat above and spoke to them: “Gentlemen! ‘If a man lacks trustworthiness, it is difficult to 
know what he can accomplish!’ 1 " You yourselves promised just now that whoever could get in here and leave again without hurting 
himself would be honored as king. Now that I have come in and gone out, gone out and come in, and have found for all of you this 
Heavenly grotto in which you may reside securely and enjoy the privilege of raising a family, why don’t you honor me as your king?” 
When the monkeys heard this, they all folded their hands on their breasts and obediently prostrated themselves. Each one of them then 
lined up according to rank and age, and, bowing reverently, they intoned, “Long live our great king!” From that moment, the stone 
monkey ascended the throne of kingship. He did away with the word “stone” in his name and assumed the title, Handsome Monkey 
King. There is a testimonial poem that says: 

iple spring mated to beget all things. 

divine stone quickened by the sun and moon 
ianged from egg to ape to reach the Great Way. 
mnnarne and surname ^ ^ matched elixir made, 
irmless inside he yields no image known; 

Is outward guise coheres in action shown, 
every age all persons will yield to him: 
liled a king, a sage, he is free to roam. 

The Handsome Monkey King thus led a flock of gibbons and baboons, some of whom were appointed by him as his officers and 
ministers. They toured the Flower-Fruit Mountain in the morning, and they lived in the Water-Curtain Cave by night. Living in 
concord and sympathy, they did not mingle with bird or beast but enjoyed their independence in perfect happiness. For such were their 

the spring they gathered flowers for food and drink, 
the summer they went in quest offruits for sustenance, 
the autumn they amassed taros and chestnuts to ward off time, 
the winter they searched for yellow-sperms^ to live out the year. 

The Handsome Monkey King had enjoyed this insouciant existence for three or four hundred years when one day, while feasting with 
the rest of the monkeys, he suddenly grew sad and shed a few tears. Alarmed, the monkeys surrounding him bowed down and asked, 
“What is disturbing the Great King?” The Monkey King replied, “Though I am very happy at the moment, I am a little concerned 
about the future. Hence I’m distressed.” The monkeys all laughed and said, “The Great King indeed does not know contentment! Here 
we daily have a banquet on an immortal mountain in a blessed land, in an ancient cave on a divine continent. We are not subject to the 
unicorn or the phoenix, nor are we governed by the rulers of mankind. Such independence and comfort are immeasurable blessings. 
Why, then, does he worry about the future?” The Monkey King said, “Though we are not subject to the laws of man today, nor need we 
be threatened by the rule of any bird or beast, old age and physical decay in the future will disclose the secret sovereignty of Yama, 
King of the Underworld. If we die, shall we not have lived in vain, not being able to rank forever among the Heavenly beings?” 

When the monkeys heard this, they all covered their faces and wept mournfully, each one troubled by his own impermanence. But 
look! From among the ranks a bareback monkey suddenly leaped forth and cried aloud, “If the Great King is so farsighted, it may well 
indicate the sprouting of his religious inclination. There are, among the five major divisions of all living creatures, 1 ' only three species 
that are not subject to Yama, King of the Underworld.” The Monkey King said, “Do you know who they are?” The monkey said, 
“They are the Buddhas, the immortals, and the holy sages; these three alone can avoid the Wheel of Transmigration as well as the 
process of birth and destruction, and live as long as Heaven and Earth, the mountains and the streams.” “Where do they live?” asked 
the Monkey King. The monkey said, “They do not live beyond the world of the Jambudvlpa, for they dwell within ancient caves on 
immortal mountains.” When the Monkey King heard this, he was fdled with delight, saying, “Tomorrow I shall take leave of you all 
and go down the mountain. Even if I have to wander with the clouds to the comers of the sea or journey to the distant edges of Heaven, 
I intend to find these three kinds of people. I will leam from them how to be young forever and escape the calamity inflicted by King 

), this utterance at once led him 
1 leap free of the Transmigration Net, 
id be the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven. 

All the monkeys clapped their hands in acclamation, saying, “Wonderful! Wonderful! Tomorrow we shall scour the mountain ranges to 
gather plenty of fruits, so that we may send the Great King off with a great banquet.” 

Next day the monkeys duly went to gather immortal peaches, to pick rare fruits, to dig out mountain herbs, and to chop yellow- 
sperms. They brought in an orderly manner every variety of orchids and epidendmms, exotic plants and strange flowers. They set out 
the stone chairs and stone tables, covering the tables with immortal wines and food. Look at the 

olden balls and pearly pellets, 
id ripeness and yellow plumpness, 
olden balls and pearly pellets are the cherries, 
leir colors truly luscious. 

id ripeness and yellow plumpness are the plums, 
teir taste—a fragrant tartness. 

•esh lungans 

f sweet pulps and thin skins, 
ery lychees 

f small pits and red sacks. 

'•een fruits of the Pyrus are presented by the branches, 
le loquats yellow with buds are held with their leaves, 
lars like rabbit heads and dates like chicken hearts 
ispel your thirst, your sorrow, and the effects of wine. 

■agrant peaches and soft almonds 
•e sweet as the elixir of life: 

•isply fresh plums and strawberries 

•e sour like cheese and buttermilk. 

id pulps and black seeds compose the ripe watermelons. 

uir cloves of yellow rind enfold the big persimmons. 

hen the pomegranates are split wide, 

nnabar grains glisten like specks of ruby: 

hen the chestnuts are cracked open, 

teir tough brawns are hard like cornelian. 

ilnut and silver almonds fare well with tea. 

yconuts and grapes may be pressed into wine. 

izelnuts, yews, and crabapples overfill the dishes. 

imquats, sugarcanes, tangerines, and oranges crowd the tables. 

veet yams are baked, 

llow-sperms overboiled, 

le tubers minced with seeds of waterlily, 

id soup in stone pots simmers on a gentle fire. 

ankind may boast its delicious dainties, 

it what can best the pleasure of mountain monkeys. 

The monkeys honored the Monkey King with the seat at the head of the table, while they sat below according to their age and rank. 
They drank for a whole day, each of the monkeys taking a turn to go forward and present the Monkey King with wine, flowers, and 
fruits. The next day the Monkey King rose early and gave the instruction, “Little ones, cut me some pinewood and make me a raft. 
Then find me a bamboo for the pole, and gather some Suits and the like. I’m about to leave.” When all was ready, he got onto the raft 
by himself. Pushing off with all his might, he drifted out toward the great ocean and, taking advantage of the wind, set sail for the 
border of South Jambudvlpa Continent. Here is the consequence of this journey: 

ie Heaven-born monkey, strong in magic might, 
z left the mount and rode the raft to catch fair wind: 
z drifted across the sea to seek immortals 'way, 
ztermined in heart and mind to achieve great things. 
s his lot, his portion, to quit earthly zeals: 
dm and carefree, he ’ll face a lofty sage. 

?’d meet, I think, a true, discerning friend: 
ie source disclosed, all dharma will be known. 

It was indeed his fortune that, after he boarded the wooden raft, a strong southeast wind (which lasted for days) sent him to the 
northwestern coast, the border of the South Jambudvlpa Continent. He took the pole to test the water, and, finding it shallow one day, 
he abandoned the raft and jumped ashore. On the beach there were people fishing, hunting wild geese, digging clams, and draining salt. 
He approached them and, making a weird face and some strange antics, he scared them into dropping their baskets and nets and 
scattering in all directions. One of them could not run and was caught by the Monkey King, who stripped him of his clothes and put 
them on himself, aping the way humans wore them. With a swagger he walked through counties and prefectures, imitating human 
speech and human manners in the marketplaces. He rested by night and dined in the morning, but he was bent on finding the way of 
the Buddhas, immortals, and holy sages, on discovering the formula for eternal youth. He saw, however, that the people of the world 
were all seekers after profit and fame; there was not one who showed concern for his appointed end. This is their condition: 

hen will end this quest for fortune and fame, 
lis tyrant of early rising and retiring late? 
ding on mules they long for noble steeds; 

> now prime ministers, they hope to be kings. 

)r food and raiment they suffer stress and strain, 
zver fearing Yama's call to reckoning, 
eking wealth and power to give to sons of sons, 
lere s not one ever willing to turn back. 

The Monkey King searched diligently for the way of immortality, but he had no chance of meeting it. Going through big cities and 
visiting small towns, he unwittingly spent eight or nine years on the South Jambudvlpa Continent before he suddenly came upon the 
Great Western Ocean. He thought that there would certainly be immortals living beyond the ocean; so, having built himself a raft like 
the previous one, he once again drifted across the Western Ocean until he reached the West AparagodanTya Continent. After landing, 
he searched for a long time, when all at once he came upon a tall and beautiful mountain with thick forests at its base. Since he was 
afraid neither of wolves and lizards nor of tigers and leopards, he went straight to the top to look around. It was indeed a magnificent 

thousand peaks stand like rows of spears, 

ke ten thousand cubits of screen widespread. 

le sun's beams lightly enclose the azure mist; 

darkening rain, the mount’s color turns cool and green. 

y creepers entwine old trees; 

icient fords edge secluded paths. 

ire flowers and luxuriant grass. 

II bamboos and lofty pines. 

'll bamboos and lofty pines 

)r ten thousand years grow green in this blessed land. 

ire flowers and luxuriant grass 

all seasons bloom as in the Isles of the Blest. 

ie calls of birds hidden are near. 

ie sounds of streams rushing are clear. 

zep inside deep canyons the orchids interweave. 

n every ridge and crag sprout lichens and mosses. 

sing and falling, the ranges show a fine dragon's pulse. ^ 

zre in reclusion must an eminent man reside. 

As he was looking about, he suddenly heard the sound of a man speaking deep within the woods. Hurriedly he dashed into the forest 
and cocked his ear to listen. It was someone singing, and the song went thus: 

vaich chess games, my ax handle's rotted. ^ ^ 

•hop at wood, zheng zheng the sound. 

valk slowly by the cloud s fringe at the valley s entrance. 

•lling my firewood to buy some wine, 
im happy and laugh without restraint, 
hen the path is frosted in autumn's height, 
ace the moon, my pillow the pine root, 
eeping till dawn 
ind my familiar woods. 

•limb the plateaus and scale the peaks 
• cut dry creepers with my ax. 
hen I gather enough to make a load, 
troll singing through the marketplace 
id trade it for three pints of rice, 
ith nary the slightest bickering 
ver a price so modest, 
ots and schemes I do not know; 
ithout vainglory or attaint 
y life's prolonged in simplicity, 
lose I meet, 

not immortals, would be Daoists, 

ated quietly to expound the Yellow Court. 

When the Handsome Monkey King heard this, he was filled with delight, saying, “So the immortals are hiding in this place.” He 
leaped at once into the forest. Looking again carefully, he found a woodcutter chopping firewood with his ax. The man he saw was 
very strangely attired. 

n his head he wore a wide splint hat 
r seed-leaves freshly cast from new bamboos, 
n his body he wore a cloth garment 
r gauze woven from the native cotton, 
ound his waist he tied a winding sash 
r silk spun from an old silkworm, 
n his feet he had a pair of straw sandals, 
ith laces rolled from withered sedge, 
his hands he held a fine steel ax; 
sturdy rope coiled round and round his load, 
breaking pines or chopping trees 
here’s the man to equal him? 

The Monkey King drew near and called out: “Reverend immortal! Your disciple raises his hands.” The woodcutter was so flustered 
that he dropped his ax as he turned to return the salutation. “Blasphemy! Blasphemy!” he said. “I, a foolish fellow with hardly enough 
clothes or food! How can I bear the title of immortal?” The Monkey King said, “If you are not an immortal, how is it that you speak 
his language?” The woodcutter asked, “What did I say that sounded like the language of an immortal?” The Monkey King explained, 
“When I came just now to the forest’s edge, I heard you singing, ‘Those I meet, if not immortals, would be Daoists, seated quietly to 
expound the Yellow Court. 'The Yellow Court contains the perfected words of the Way and Virtue. What can you be but an immortal?” 

Laughing, the woodcutter said, “I can tell you this much: the tune of that lyric is named ‘A Court Full of Blossoms,’ and it was 
taught to me by an immortal, a neighbor of mine. He saw that I had to struggle to make a living and that my days were full of worries, 
so he told me to recite the poem whenever I was troubled. This, he said, would both comfort me and rid me of my difficulties. It 
happened that I was anxious about something just now, so I sang the song. It didn’t occur to me that I would be overheard.” 

The Monkey King said, “If you are a neighbor of the immortal, why don’t you follow him in the cultivation of the Way? Wouldn’t it 
be nice to learn from him the formula for eternal youth?” The woodcutter replied, “My lot has been a hard one all my life. When I was 
young, I was indebted to my parents’ nurture until I was eight or nine. As soon as I began to have some understanding of human 
affairs, my father unfortunately died, and my mother remained a widow. I had no brothers or sisters, so there was no alternative but for 
me alone to support and care for my mother. Now that my mother is growing old, ah the more I dare not leave her. Moreover, my fields 
are rather barren and desolate, and we haven’t enough food or clothing. I can’t do more than chop two bundles of firewood to take to 
the market in exchange for a few pennies to buy a few pints of rice. I cook that myself, serving it to my mother with the tea that I 
make. That’s why I can’t practice austerities.” 

The Monkey King said, “According to what you have said, you are indeed a gentleman of filial piety, and you will certainly be 
rewarded in the future. I hope, however, that you will show me the way to the immortal’s abode, so that I may reverently call upon 
him.” "It’s not far,” the woodcutter said. “This mountain is called the Mountain of Mind and Heart, and in it is the Cave of Slanting 
Moon and Three Stars. Inside the cave is an immortal by the name of the Patriarch Subodhi, who has already sent out innumerable 
disciples. Even now there are thirty or forty persons who are practicing austerities with him. Follow this narrow path and travel south 
for about seven or eight miles, and you will come to his home.” Grabbing the woodcutter, the Monkey King said, “Honored brother, go 
with me. If I receive any benefit, I will not forget the favor of your guidance.” “What a boneheaded fellow you are!” the woodcutter 
said. “I have just finished telling you these things, and you still don’t understand. If I go with you, won’t I be neglecting my 
livelihood? And who will take care of my mother? I must chop my firewood. You go on by yourself!” 

When the Monkey King heard this, he had to take his leave. Emerging from the deep forest, he found the path and went past the 
slope of a hill. After he had traveled seven or eight miles, a cave dwelling indeed came into sight. He stood up straight to take a better 
look at this splendid place, and this was what he saw: 

1st and smoke in diffusive brilliance, 
ashing lights from the sun and moon, 
thousand stalks of old cypress, 
n thousand stems of tall bamboo, 
thousand stalks of old cypress 
'•aped in rain half fill the air with tender green; 
n thousand stems of tall bamboo 
zld in smoke will paint the glen chartreuse, 
range flowers spread brocades before the door, 
delike grass emits fragrance beside the bridge, 
n ridges protruding grow moist green lichens; 
n hanging cliffs cling the long blue mosses, 
le cries of immortal cranes are often heard, 
nee in a while a phoenix soars overhead, 
hen the cranes cry, 

leir sounds reach through the marsh to the distant sky. 
hen the phoenix soars up, 

■ plume with five bright colors embroiders the clouds, 
ack apes and white deer may come or hide; 
old lions and jade elephants may leave or bide. 

>ok with care at this blessed, holy place: 
has the true semblance of Paradise. 

He noticed that the door of the cave was tightly shut; all was quiet, and there was no sign of any human inhabitant. He turned around 
and suddenly perceived, at the top of the cliff, a stone slab approximately eight feet wide and over thirty feet tall. On it was written in 
large letters: 

ie Mountain of Mind and Heart; 

te Cave of Slanting Moon and Three Stars. 

Immensely pleased, the Handsome Monkey King exclaimed, “People here are truly honest. This mountain and this cave really do 
exist!” He stared at the place for a long time but dared not knock. Instead, he jumped onto the branch of a pine tree, picked a few pine 
seeds and ate them, and began to play. 

After a moment he heard the door of the cave open with a squeak, and an immortal youth walked out. His bearing was exceedingly 
graceful; his features were highly refined. This was certainly no ordinary young mortal, for he had 

is hair bound with two cords of silk, 
wide robe with two sleeves of wind, 
is body and face seemed most distinct, 

)r visage and mind were both detached, 
mg a stranger to all worldly things 
? was the mountain's ageless boy. 
i tainted even with a speck of dust, 

? feared no havoc by the seasons wrought. 

After coming through the door, the boy shouted, “Who is causing disturbance here?” With a bound the Monkey King leaped down 
from the tree, and went up to him bowing. “Immortal boy,” he said, “I am a seeker of the way of immortality. I would never dare cause 
any disturbance.” With a chuckle, the immortal youth asked, “Are you a seeker of the Way?” “I am indeed,” answered the Monkey 
King. “My master at the house,” the boy said, “has just left his couch to give a lecture on the platform. Before even announcing his 
theme, however, he told me to go out and open the door, saying, ‘There is someone outside who wants to practice austerities. You may 
go and receive him.’ It must be you, I suppose.” The Monkey King said, smiling, “It is I, most assuredly!” “Follow me in then,” said 
the boy. With solemnity the Monkey King set his clothes in order and followed the boy into the depths of the cave. They passed rows 
and rows of lofty towers and huge alcoves, of pearly chambers and carved arches. After walking through innumerable quiet chambers 
and empty studios, they finally reached the base of the green jade platform. Patriarch Subodhi was seen seated solemnly on the 
platform, with thirty lesser immortals standing below in rows. He was truly 

i immortal of great ken and purest mien, 
aster Subodhi, whose wondrous form of the West 
2d no end or birth by work of the Double Three . ' ^ 
is whole spirit and breath were with mercy fdled. 
npty, spontaneous, it could change at will, 
is Buddha-nature able to do all things, 
le same age as Heaven had his majestic frame, 
dly tried and enlightened was this grand priest. 

As soon as the Handsome Monkey King saw him, he prostrated himself and kowtowed times without number, saying, “Master! 
Master! I, your pupil, pay you my sincere homage.” The Patriarch said, “Where do you come from? Let’s hear you state clearly your 
name and country before you kowtow again.” The Monkey King said, “Your pupil came from the Water-Curtain Cave of the Flower- 
Fruit Mountain, in the Aolai Country of the East Purvavideha Continent.” 

“Chase him out of here!” the Patriarch shouted. “He is nothing but a liar and a fabricator of falsehood. How can he possibly be 
interested in attaining enlightenment?” The Monkey King hastened to kowtow unceasingly and to say, “Your pupil’s word is an honest 
one, without any deceit.” The Patriarch said, “If you are telling the truth, how is it that you mention the East Purvavideha Continent? 
Separating that place and mine are two great oceans and the entire region of the South JambudvTpa Continent. How could you possibly 
get here?” Again kowtowing, the Monkey King said, “Your pupil drifted across the oceans and trudged through many regions for more 
than ten years before finding this place.” The Patriarch said, “If you have come on a long journey in many stages, I’ll let that pass. 
What is your surname (jtmg)?” 17 The Monkey King again replied, “I have no temper ( xing ). If a man rebukes me, I am not offended; if 
he hits me, I am not angered. In fact, I simply repay him with a ceremonial greeting and that’s all. My whole life’s without ill temper.” 
“I’m not speaking of your temper,” the Patriarch said. “I’m asking after the name of your parents.” “I have no parents either,” said the 
Monkey King. The Patriarch said, “If you have no parents, you must have been bom from a tree.” “Not from a tree,” said the Monkey 
King, “but from a rock. I recall that there used to be an immortal stone on the Flower-Fruit Mountain. I was bom the year the stone 
split open.” 

When the Patriarch heard this, he was secretly pleased, and said, “Well, evidently you have been created by Heaven and Earth. Get 
up and show me how you walk.” Snapping erect, the Monkey King scurried around a couple of times. The Patriarch laughed and said, 
“Though your features are not the most attractive, you do resemble a pignolia-eating monkey ( husun ). This gives me the idea of taking 
a surname for you from your appearance. I intended to call you by the name Hu. If I drop the animal radical from this word, what’s left 
is a compound made up of the two characters, gu and yue. Gu means aged and yue means female, but an aged female cannot reproduce. 
Therefore, it is better to give you the surname of Sun. If I drop the animal radical from this word, what we have left is the compound of 
zi and xi. Zi means a boy andxz means a baby, and that name exactly accords with the fundamental Doctrine of the Baby Boy. So your 
surname will be ‘Sun.’” 

When the Monkey King heard this, he was filled with delight. “Splendid! Splendid!” he cried, kowtowing, “At last I know my 
surname. May the master be even more gracious! Since I have received the surname, let me be given also a personal name, so that it 
may facilitate your calling and commanding me.” The Patriarch said, “Within my tradition are twelve characters that have been used to 
name the pupils according to their divisions. You are one who belongs to the tenth generation.” “Which twelve characters are they?” 
asked the Monkey King. The Patriarch replied, “They are: wide ( guang ), great (da), wise (zhi), intelligence ( hui ), true ( zhen ), 
conforming ( ru ), nature (xing), sea (hai), sharp ( ving), wake- to (wu), complete (yuan), and awakening (jue ). Your rank falls precisely 
on the word ‘wake-to’ (wu). You will hence be given the religious name ‘Wake-to-the-Void’ (wukong). All right?” “Splendid! 
Splendid!” said the Monkey King, laughing. “Henceforth I shall be called Sun Wukong.” So it was that, 

nebula’s parting he had no name, 
cashing stubborn void needs Wake-to-the-Void. 


Fully awoke to Bodhi s wondrous truths; 

Fie cuts off Mara, returns to the root, and joins Primal Spirit .' 

Now we were speaking of the Handsome Monkey King, who, having received his name, jumped about joyfully and went forward to 
give Subodhi his grateful salutation. The Patriarch then ordered the congregation to lead Sun Wukong outdoors and to teach him how 
to sprinkle water on the ground and dust, and how to speak and move with proper courtesy. The company of immortals obediently 
went outside with Wukong, who then bowed to his fellow students. They prepared thereafter a place in the corridor where he might 
sleep. Next morning he began to learn from his schoolmates the arts of language and etiquette. He discussed with them the scriptures 
and the doctrines; he practiced calligraphy and burned incense. Such was his daily routine. In more leisurely moments he would be 
sweeping the grounds or hoeing the garden, planting flowers or pruning trees, gathering firewood or lighting fires, fetching water or 
carrying drinks. He did not lack for whatever he needed, and thus he lived in the cave without realizing that six or seven years had 
slipped by. One day the Patriarch ascended the platform and took his high seat. Calling together all the immortals, he began to lecture 
on a great doctrine. He spoke 

ith words so florid and eloquent 

mt gold lotus sprang up from the ground. 

te doctrine of three vehicles he subtly rehearsed 

eluding even the laws 'minutest tittle. 

te yak's-taifi waved slowly and spouted elegance: 

is thunderous voice moved e ’en the Ninth Heaven. 

)r a while he lectured on Dao; 

>r a while he spoke on Chan — 

1 harmonize the Three Parties^ is a natural thing. 

>ie word’s elucidation filled with truth 
tints to the birthless showing nature’s mystery. 

Wukong, who was standing there and listening, was so pleased with the talk that he scratched his ear and rubbed his jaw. Grinning 
from ear to ear, he could not refrain from dancing on all fours! Suddenly the Patriarch saw this and called out to him, “Why are you 
madly jumping and dancing in the ranks and not listening to my lecture?” Wukong said, “Your pupil was devoutly listening to the 
lecture. But when I heard such wonderful things from my reverend master, I couldn’t contain myself for joy and started to leap and 
prance about quite unconsciously. May the master forgive my sins!” 

“Let me ask you,” said the Patriarch, “if you comprehend these wonderful things, do you know how long you have been in this 
cave?” Wukong said, “Your pupil is basically feeble-minded and does not know the number of seasons. I only remember that whenever 
the fire burned out in the stove, I would go to the back of the mountain to gather firewood. Finding a mountainful of fine peach trees 
there, I have eaten my fill of peaches seven times.” The Patriarch said, “That mountain is named the Ripe Peach Mountain. If you have 
eaten your fill seven times, 1 suppose it must have been seven years. What kind of Daoist art would you like to learn from me?” 
Wukong said, “I am dependent on the admonition of my honored teacher. Your pupil would gladly leam whatever has a smidgen of 
Daoist flavor.” 

The Patriarch said, “Within the tradition of Dao, there are three hundred and sixty heteronomous divisions, all the practices of which 
may result in Illumination. I don’t know which division you would like to follow.” “I am dependent on the will of my honored 
teacher,” said Wukong. “Your pupil is wholeheartedly obedient.” “How would it be,” said the Patriarch, “if I taught you the practice of 
the Method division?” Wukong asked, “How would you explain the practice of the Method division?” “The practice of the Method 
division,” said the Patriarch, “consists of summoning immortals and working the planchette, of divination by manipulating yarrow 
stalks, and of learning the secrets of pursuing good and avoiding evil.” “Can this sort of practice lead to immortality?” asked Wukong. 
“Impossible! Impossible!” said the Patriarch. “I won’t leam it then,” Wukong said. 

“How would it be,” said the Patriarch again, “if I taught you the practice of the Schools division?” “What is the meaning of the 
Schools division?” asked Wukong. “The Schools division,” the Patriarch said, “includes the Confucians, the Buddhists, the Daoists, the 
Dualists, the Mohists, and the Physicians. They read scriptures or recite prayers; they interview priests or conjure up saints and the 
like.” “Can this sort of practice lead to immortality?” asked Wukong. The Patriarch said, “If immortality is what you desire, this 
practice is like setting a pillar inside a wall.” Wukong said, “Master, I’m a simple fellow and I don’t know the idioms of the 
marketplace. What’s setting a pillar inside a wall?” The Patriarch said, “When people build houses and want them to be sturdy they 
place a pillar as a prop inside the wall. But someday the big mansion will decay, and the pillar too will rot.” “What you’re saying then,” 
Wukong said, “is that it is not long-lasting. I’m not going to leam this.” 

The Patriarch said, “How would it be if I taught you the practice of the Silence division?” “What’s the aim of the Silence division?” 
Wukong asked. “To cultivate fasting and abstinence,” said the Patriarch, “quiescence and inactivity, meditation and the art of cross- 
legged sitting, restraint of language, and a vegetarian diet. There are also the practices of yoga, exercises standing or prostrate, entrance 
into complete stillness, contemplation in solitary confinement, and the like.” “Can these activities,” asked Wukong, “bring about 
immortality?” "They are no better than the unfired bricks on the kiln,” said the Patriarch. Wukong laughed and said, “Master indeed 
loves to beat about the bush! Haven’t 1 just told you that I don’t know these idioms of the marketplace? What do you mean by the 
unfired bricks on the kiln?” The Patriarch replied, “The tiles and the bricks on the kiln may have been molded into shape, but if they 
have not been refined by water and fire, a heavy rain will one day make them crumble.” “So this too lacks permanence,” said Wukong. 
“I don’t want to leam it.” 

The Patriarch said, “How would it be if I taught you the practice of the Action division?” “What’s it like in the Action division?” 
Wukong asked. “Plenty of activities,” said the Patriarch, “such as gathering the yin to nourish the yang, bending the bow and treading 
the arrow, and robbing the navel to pass breath. There are also experimentation with alchemical formulas, burning rushes and forging 

cauldrons, taking red lead, making autumn stone, and drinking bride’s milk and the like.” 5 “Can such bring about long life?” asked 
Wukong. “To obtain immortality from such activities,” said the Patriarch, “is also like scooping the moon from the water.” “There you 
go again, Master!” cried Wukong. “What do you mean by scooping the moon from the water?” The Patriarch said, “When the moon is 
high in the sky, its reflection is in the water. Although it is visible therein, you cannot scoop it out or catch hold of it, for it is but an 
illusion.” “I won’t learn that either!” said Wukong. 

When the Patriarch heard this, he uttered a cry and jumped down from the high platform. He pointed the ruler he held in his hands at 
Wukong and said to him: “What a mischievous monkey you are! You won’t learn this and you won’t learn that! Just what is it that you 
are waiting for?” Moving forward, he hit Wukong three times on the head. Then he folded his arms behind his back and walked inside, 
closing the main doors behind him and leaving the congregation stranded outside. Those who were listening to the lecture were so 
terrified that everyone began to berate Wukong. “You reckless ape!” they cried, “you’re utterly without manners! The master was 
prepared to teach you magic secrets. Why weren’t you willing to learn? Why did you have to argue with him instead? Now you have 
offended him, and who knows when he’ll come out again?” At that moment they all resented hint and despised and ridiculed him. But 
Wukong was not angered in the least and only replied with a broad grin. For the Monkey King, in fact, had already solved secretly, as 
it were, the riddle in the pot; he therefore did not quarrel with the other people but patiently held his tongue. He reasoned that the 
master, by hitting him three times, was telling him to prepare himself for the third watch; and by folding his arms behind his back, 
walking inside, and closing the main doors, was telling him to enter by the back door so that he might receive instruction in secret. 

Wukong spent the rest of the day happily with the other pupils in front of the Divine Cave of the Three Stars, eagerly waiting for the 
night. When evening arrived, he immediately retired with all the others, pretending to be asleep by closing his eyes, breathing evenly, 
and remaining completely still. Since there was no watchman in the mountain to beat the watch or call the hour, he could not tell what 
time it was. He could only rely on his own calculations by counting the breaths he inhaled and exhaled. Approximately at the hour of 
Zi, 6 he arose very quietly and put on his clothes. Stealthily opening the front door, he slipped away from the crowd and walked outside. 
Lifting his head, he saw 

ie bright moon and the cool, clear dew, 

tough in each corner not one speck of dust. 

lettered fowls roosted in the woods; 

brook flowed gently from its source. 

irting fireflies dispersed the gloom. 

ild geese spread word columns through the clouds. 

■ecisely it was the third-watch hour — 
me to seek the Way whole and true. 

You see him following the familiar path back to the rear entrance, where he discovered that the door was, indeed, ajar. Wukong said 
happily, “The reverend master truly intended to give me instruction. That’s why the door was left open.” He reached the door in a few 
large strides and entered sideways. Walking up to the Patriarch’s bed, he found him asleep with his body curled up, facing the wall. 
Wukong dared not disturb him; instead, he knelt before his bed. After a little while, the Patriarch awoke. Stretching his legs, he recited 
to himself: 

lard! Hard! Hard! 

ie Way is most obscure! 

zem not the gold elixir a common thing. 

ithout a perfect man’s transmiting a subtle rune, 

•u ’d have vain words, worn mouth, and tongue waxed dry! ” 

“Master,” Wukong responded at once. “Your pupil has been kneeling here and waiting on you for a long time.” When the Patriarch 
heard Wukong’s voice, he rose and put on his clothes. “You mischievous monkey!” he exclaimed, sitting down cross-legged, “Why 
aren’t you sleeping in front? What are you doing back here at my place?” Wukong replied, “Before the platform and the congregation 
yesterday, the master gave the order that your pupil, at the hour of the third watch, should come here through the rear entrance in order 
that he might be instructed. I was therefore bold enough to come directly to the master’s bed.” 

When the Patriarch heard this, he was terribly pleased, thinking to himself, “This fellow is indeed an offspring of Heaven and Earth. 
If not, how could he solve so readily the riddle in my pot!” “There is no third party here save your pupil,” Wukong said. “May the 
master be exceedingly merciful and impart to me the way of long life. I shall never forget this gracious favor.” “Since you have solved 
the riddle in the pot,” said the Patriarch, “it is an indication that you are destined to learn, and I am glad to teach you. Come closer and 
listen carefully. I will impart to you the wondrous way of long life.” Wukong kowtowed to express his gratitude, washed his ears, and 
listened most attentively, kneeling before the bed. The Patriarch said: 

this bold, secret saying that s wondrous and true: 

•are, nurse nature and life — there's nothing else. 

I power resides in the semen, breath, and spirit; 
ore these securely lest there be a leak, 
rst there be a leak! 
zep within the body! 

zed my teaching and the Way itself will thrive, 
old fast oral formulas so useful and keen 
1 purge concupiscence, to reach pure cool; 

• pure cool 

here the light is bright. 

•u ’ll face the elixir platform, enjoying the moon? 
le moon holds the jade rabbit, the sun, the crow? 
ie tortoise and snake are now tightly entwined? 
ghtly entwined, 
iture and life are strong. 

•u can plant gold lotus e 'en in the midst of flames. 

'ueeze the Five Phases jointly, use them back and forth —^ 
hen that's done, be a Buddha or immortal at will! ” 

At that moment, the very origin was disclosed to Wukong, whose mind became spiritualized as blessedness came to him. He carefully 

committed to memory all the oral formulas. After kowtowing to thank the Patriarch, he left by the rear entrance. As he went out, he 
saw that 

ie eastern sky began to pale with light, 
it golden beams shone on the Westward Way. 

Following the same path, he returned to the front door, pushed it open quietly, and went inside. He sat up in his sleeping place and 
purposely rustled the bed and the covers, crying, “It’s light! It’s light! Get up!” All the other people were still sleeping and did not 
know that Wukong had received a good thing. He played the fool that day after getting up, but he persisted in what he had learned 
secretly by doing breathing exercises before the hour of Zi and after the hour of Wu. 11 

Three years went by swiftly, and the Patriarch again mounted his throne to lecture to the multitude. He discussed the scholastic 
deliberations and parables, and he discoursed on the integument of external conduct. Suddenly he asked, “Where’s Wukong?” Wukong 
drew near and knelt down. “Your pupil’s here,” he said. “What sort of art have you been practicing lately?” the Patriarch asked. 
“Recently,” Wukong said, “your pupil has begun to apprehend the nature of all things and my foundational knowledge has become 
firmly established.” “If you have penetrated to the dharma nature to apprehend the origin,” said the Patriarch, “you have, in fact, 
entered into the divine substance. You need, however, to guard against the danger of three calamities.” When Wukong heard this, he 
thought for a long time and said, “The words of the master must be erroneous. I have frequently heard that when one is learned in the 
Way and excels in virtue, he will enjoy the same age as Heaven; fire and water cannot harm him and every kind of disease will vanish. 
How can there be this danger of three calamities?” 

“What you have learned,” said the Patriarch, “is no ordinary magic: you have stolen the creative powers of Heaven and Earth and 
invaded the dark mysteries of the sun and moon. Your success in perfecting the elixir is something that the gods and the demons cannot 
countenance. Though your appearance will be preserved and your age lengthened, after live hundred years Heaven will send down the 
calamity of thunder to strike you. Hence you must be intelligent and wise enough to avoid it ahead of time. If you can escape it, your 
age will indeed equal that of Heaven; if not, your life will thus be finished. After another five hundred years Heaven will send down 
the calamity of fire to bum you. That fire is neither natural nor common fire; its name is the Fire of Yin, and it arises from within the 
soles of your feet to reach even the cavity of your heart, reducing your entrails to ashes and your limbs to utter ruin. The arduous labor 
of a millennium will then have been made completely superfluous. After another five hundred years the calamity of wind will be sent 
to blow at you. It is not the wind from the north, south, east, or west; nor is it one of the winds of four seasons; nor is it the wind of 
flowers, willows, pines, and bamboos. It is called the Mighty Wind, and it enters from the top of the skull into the body, passes through 
the midriff, and penetrates the nine apertures. 12 The bones and the flesh will be dissolved and the body itself will disintegrate. You must 
therefore avoid all three calamities.” 

When Wukong heard this, his hairs stood on end, and, kowtowing reverently, he said, “I beg the master to be merciful and impart to 
me the method to avoid the three calamities. To the very end, I shall never forget your gracious favor." The Patriarch said, “It is not, in 
fact, difficult, except that I cannot teach you because you are somewhat different front other people.” “I have a round head pointing to 
Heaven,” said Wukong, “and square feet walking on Earth. Similarly, I have nine apertures and four limbs, entrails and cavities. In 
what way am I different from other people?” The Patriarch said, “Though you resemble a man, you have much less jowl.” The 
monkey, you see, has an angular face with hollow cheeks and a pointed mouth. Stretching his hand to feel himself, Wukong laughed 
and said, “The master does not know how to balance matters! Though I have much less jowl than human beings, I have my pouch, 
which may certainly be considered a compensation.” 

“Very well, then,” said the Patriarch, “what method of escape would you like to learn? There is the Art of the Heavenly Ladle, which 
numbers thirty-six transformations, and there is the Art of the Earthly Multitude, which numbers seventy-two transformations.” 
Wukong said, “Your pupil is always eager to catch more fishes, so I’ll leam the Art of the Earthly Multitude.” “In that case,” said the 
Patriarch, “come up here, and I'll pass on the oral formulas to you.” He then whispered something into his ear, though we do not know 
what sort of wondrous secrets he spoke of. But this Monkey King was someone who, knowing one thing, could understand a hundred! 
He immediately learned the oral formulas and, after working at them and practicing them himself, he mastered all seventy-two 

One day when the Patriarch and the various pupils were admiring the evening view in front of the Three Stars Cave, the master 
asked, “Wukong, has that matter been perfected?” Wukong said, “Thanks to the profound kindness of the master, your pupil has indeed 
attained perfection; I now can ascend like mist into the air and fly.” The Patriarch said, “Let me see you try to fly.” Wishing to display 
his ability, Wukong leaped fifty or sixty feet into the air, pulling himself up with a somersault. He trod on the clouds for about the time 
of a meal and traveled a distance of no more than three miles before dropping down again to stand before the Patriarch. “Master,” he 
said, his hands folded in front of him, “this is flying by cloud-soaring.” Laughing, the Patriarch said, “This can’t be called cloud¬ 
soaring! It’s more like cloud-crawling! The old saying goes, ‘The immortal tours the North Sea in the morning and reaches Cangwu by 
night.’ If it takes you half a day to go less than three miles, it can’t even be considered cloud-crawling.” 

“What do you mean,” asked Wukong, “by saying, ‘The immortal tours the North Sea in the morning and reaches Cangwu by 
night’?” The Patriarch said, “Those who are capable of cloud-soaring may start from the North Sea in the morning, journey through the 
East Sea, the West Sea, the South Sea, and return again to Cangwu. Cangwu refers to Lingling in the North Sea. It can be called true 
cloud-soaring only when you can traverse all four seas in one day.” “That’s truly difficult!” said Wukong, “truly difficult!” “Nothing in 
the world is difficult,” said the Patriarch; “only the mind makes it so.” When Wukong heard these words, he kowtowed reverently and 
implored the Patriarch, “Master, if you do perform a service for someone, you must do it thoroughly. May you be most merciful and 
impart to me also this technique of cloud-soaring. I would never dare forget your gracious favor.” The Patriarch said, “When the 
various immortals want to soar on the clouds, they all rise by stamping their feet. But you’re not like them. When I saw you leave just 
now, you had to pull yourself up by jumping. What I’ll do now is to teach you the cloud-somersault in accordance with your form.” 
Wukong again prostrated himself and pleaded with him, and the Patriarch gave hint an oral formula, saying, 

“Make the magic sign, recite the spell, clench your fist tightly, shake your body, and when you jump up, one somersault will carry 

you one hundred and eight thousand miles.” When the other people heard this, they all giggled and said, “Lucky Wukong! If he learns 
this little trick, he can become a dispatcher for someone to deliver documents or carry circulars. He'll be able to make a living 

The sky now began to darken, and the master went back to the cave dwelling with his pupils. Throughout the night, however, 
Wukong practiced ardently and mastered the technique of cloud-somersault. From then on, he had complete freedom, blissfully 
enjoying his state of long life. 

One day early in the summer, the disciples were gathered under the pine trees for fellowship and discussion. They said to him, 
“Wukong, what sort of merit did you accumulate in another incarnation that led the master to whisper in your ear, the other day, the 
method of avoiding the three calamities? Have you learned everything?” “I won’t conceal this from my various elder brothers,” 
Wukong said, laughing. “Owing to the master’s instruction in the first place and my diligence day and night in the second, I have fully 
mastered the several matters!” “Let’s take advantage of the moment,” one of the pupils said. “You try to put on a performance and 
we’ll watch.” When Wukong heard this, his spirit was aroused and he was most eager to display his powers. “I invite the various elder 
brothers to give me a subject,” he said. “What do you want me to change into?” “Why not a pine tree?” they said. Wukong made the 
magic sign and recited the spell; with one shake of his body he changed himself into a pine tree. Truly it was 

lickly held in smoke through all four seasons, 

' chaste fair form soars straight to the clouds, 
ith not the least likeness to the impish monkey, 
s all frost-tried and snow-tested branches. 

When the multitude saw this, they clapped their hands and roared with laughter, everyone crying, “Marvelous monkey! Marvelous 
monkey!” They did not realize that all this uproar had disturbed the Patriarch, who came running out of the door, dragging his staff. 
“Who is creating this bedlam here?” he demanded. At his voice the pupils immediately collected themselves, set their clothes in order, 
and came forward. Wukong also changed back into his true form, and, slipping into the crowd, he said, “For your information, 
Reverend Master, we are having fellowship and discussion here. There is no one from outside causing any disturbance.” “You were all 
yelling and screaming,” said the Patriarch angrily, “and were behaving in a manner totally unbecoming to those practicing cultivation. 
Don’t you know that those in the cultivation of Dao resist 

oening their mouths lest they waste their breath and spirit, 
r moving their tongues lest they provoke arguments? 

Why are you all laughing noisily here?” “We dare not conceal this from the master,” the crowd said. “Just now we were having fun 
with Wukong, who was giving us a performance of transformation. We told him to change into a pine tree, and he did indeed become a 
pine tree! Your pupils were all applauding him and our voices disturbed the reverend teacher. We beg his forgiveness.” 

“Go away, all of you,” the Patriarch said. “You, Wukong, come over here! I ask you what sort of exhibition were you putting on, 
changing into a pine tree? This ability you now possess, is it just for showing off to people? Suppose you saw someone with this 
ability. Wouldn’t you ask him at once how he acquired it? So when others see that you are in possession of it, they’ll come begging. If 
you’re afraid to refuse them, you will give away the secret; if you don’t, they may hurt you. You are actually placing your life in grave 
jeopardy.” “I beseech the master to forgive me,” Wukong said, kowtowing. “I won’t condemn you,” said the Patriarch, “but you must 
leave this place.” When Wukong heard this, tears fell from his eyes. “Where am I to go. Teacher?” he asked. “From wherever you 
came,” the Patriarch said, “you should go back there.” “I came from the East Purvavideha Continent,” Wukong said, his memory jolted 
by the Patriarch, “from the Water-Curtain Cave of the Flower-Fruit Mountain in the Aolai Country.” “Go back there quickly and save 
your life,” the Patriarch said. “You cannot possibly remain here!” “Allow me to inform my esteemed teacher,” said Wukong, properly 
penitent, “I have been away from home for twenty years, and I certainly long to see my subjects and followers of bygone days again. 
But 1 keep thinking that my master’s profound kindness to me has not yet been repaid. I, therefore, dare not leave.” “There’s nothing to 
be repaid,” said the Patriarch. “See that you don’t get into trouble and involve me: that’s all I ask.” 

Seeing that there was no other alternative, Wukong had to bow to the Patriarch and take leave of the congregation. “Once you 
leave,” the Patriarch said, “you’re bound to end up evildoing. I don’t care what kind of villainy and violence you engage in, but I 
forbid you ever to mention that you are my disciple. For if you but utter half the word. I’ll know about it; you can be assured, wretched 
monkey, that you’ll be skinned alive. I will break all your bones and banish your soul to the Place of Ninefold Darkness, from which 
you will not be released even after ten thousand afflictions!” “I will never dare mention my master,” said Wukong. “I’ll say that I’ve 
learned this all by myself.” Having thanked the Patriarch, Wukong turned away, made the magic sign, pulled himself up, and 
performed the cloud-somersault. He headed straight toward the East Purvavideha, and in less than an hour he could already see the 
Flower-Fruit Mountain and the Water-Curtain Cave. Rejoicing secretly, the Handsome Monkey King said to himself: 

left weighed down by bones of mortal stock, 
le Dao attained makes light both body and frame, 
is this world s pity that none firmly resolves 
• learn such mystery that by itself is plain, 
was hard to cross the seas in former time. 

?turning this day, I travel with ease. 

brds of farewell still echo in my ears. 

te ’er hope to see so soon the eastern depths! ” 

Wukong lowered the direction of his cloud and landed squarely on the Flower-Fruit Mountain. He was trying to find his way when 
he heard the call of cranes and the cry of monkeys; the call of cranes reverberated in the Heavens, and the cry of monkeys moved his 
spirit with sadness. “Little ones,” he called out, “I have returned!” From the crannies of the cliff, from the flowers and bushes, and 
from the woods and trees, monkeys great and small leaped out by the tens of thousands and surrounded the Handsome Monkey King. 
They all kowtowed and cried, “Great King! What laxity of mind! Why did you go away for such a long time and leave us here longing 
for your return like someone hungering and thirsting? Recently, we have been brutally abused by a monster, who wanted to rob us of 
our Water-Curtain Cave. Out of sheer desperation, we fought hard with him. And yet all this time, that fellow has plundered many of 

our possessions, kidnapped a number of our young ones, and given us many restless days and nights watching over our property. How 
fortunate that our great king has returned! If the great king had stayed away another year or so, we and the entire mountain cave would 
have belonged to someone else!” 

Hearing this, Wukong was filled with anger. “What sort of a monster is this,” he cried, “that behaves in such a lawless manner? Tell 
me in detail and I will find him to exact vengeance.” “Be informed, Great King,” the monkeys said, kowtowing, “that the fellow calls 
himself the Monstrous King of Havoc, and he lives north of here.” Wukong asked, “From here to his place, how great is the distance?” 
The monkeys replied, “He comes like the cloud and leaves like the mist, like the wind and the rain, like lightning and thunder. We 
don’t know how great the distance is.” “In that case,” said Wukong, “go and play for a while and don’t be afraid. Let me go and find 

Dear Monkey King! He leaped up with a bound and somersaulted all the way northward until he saw a tall and rugged mountain. 
What a mountain! 

: penlike peak stands erect; 

: winding streams flow unfathomed and deep. 

: penlike peak, standing erect, cuts through the air; 

: winding streams, unfathomed and deep, reach diverse sites on earth, 
n two ridges flowers rival trees in exotic charm; 
various spots pines match bamboos in green, 
le dragon on the left 
ems docile and tame; 
le tiger on the right 
ems gentle and meek, 
on oxen ^ ^ 

n occasion are seen plowing. 

old-coin flowers are frequently planted. 

ire fowls make melodious songs; 

le phoenix stands facing the sun. 

icks worn smooth and shiny 

> water placid and bright 

ipear by turns grotesque, bizarre, and fierce. 

countless numbers are the world’s famous mountains 

here flowers bloom and wither; they flourish and die. 

hat place resembles this long-lasting scene 

holly untouched by the four seasons and eight epochs 

lis is, in the Three Regions, ^ the Mount of Northern Spring, 

te Water-Belly Cave, nourished by the Five Phases. * ^ 

The Handsome Monkey King was silently viewing the scenery when he heard someone speaking. He went down the mountain to find 
who it was, and he discovered the Water-Belly Cave at the foot of a steep cliff. Several imps who were dancing in front of the cave saw 
Wukong and began to run away. “Stop!” cried Wukong. “You can use the words of your mouth to communicate the thoughts of my 
mind. I am the lord of the Water-Curtain Cave in the Flower-Fruit Mountain south of here. Your Monstrous King of Havoc, or 
whatever he’s called, has repeatedly bullied my young ones, and I have found my way here with the specific purpose of sett ling 
matters with him.” 

Hearing this, the imps darted into the cave and cried out, “Great King, a disastrous thing has happened!” “What sort of disaster?” 
asked the Monstrous King. “Outside the cave,” said the imps, “there is a monkey who calls himself the lord of the Water-Curtain Cave 
in the Flower-Fruit Mountain. He says that you have repeatedly bullied his young ones and that he has come to settle matters with 
you.” Laughing, the Monstrous King said, “I have often heard those monkeys say that they have a great king who has left the family to 
practice self-cultivation. He must have come back. How is he dressed, and what kind of weapon does he have?” “He doesn’t have any 
kind of weapon,” the imps said. “He is bare-headed, wears a red robe with a yellow sash, and has a pair of black boots on. He looks 
like neither a monk nor a layman, neither a Daoist nor an immortal. He is out there making demands with naked hands and empty 
fists.” When the Monstrous King heard this, he ordered, “Get me my armor and my weapon.” These were immediately brought out by 
the imps, and the Monstrous King put on his breastplate and helmet, grasped his scimitar, and walked out of the cave with his 
followers. “Who is the lord of the Water-Curtain Cave?” he cried with a loud voice. Quickly opening wide his eyes to take a look, 
Wukong saw that the Monstrous King 

ore on his head a black gold helmet 
hich gleamed in the sun; 
id on his body a dark silk robe 
hich swayed in the wind; 

>wer he had on a black iron vest 

ed tightly with leather straps; 

is feet were shod in finely carved boots, 

'•and as those of warriors great, 
n spans—the width of his waist; 
lirty feet—the height of his frame; 

? held in his hands a sword; 

: blade was fine and bright. 

Is name: the Monster of Havoc 
r most fearsome form and look. 

“You have such big eyes, reckless monster, but you can’t even see old Monkey!” the Monkey King shouted. When the Monstrous 
King saw him, he laughed and said, “You’re not four feet tall, nor are you thirty years old; you don’t even have weapons in your hands. 
How dare you be so insolent, looking for me to settle accounts?” “You reckless monster!” cried Wukong. “You are blind indeed! You 
think I’m small, not knowing that it’s hardly difficult for me to become taller; you think I’m without weapon, but my two hands can 
drag the moon down from the edge of Heaven. Don’t be afraid; just have a taste of old Monkey’s fist!” He leaped into the air and 
aimed a blow smack at the monster’s face. Parrying the blow with his hand, the Monstrous King said, “You are such a midget and I’m 
so tall; you want to use your fist but I have my scimitar. If I were to kill you with it, I would be a laughingstock. Let me put down my 
scimitar, and we’ll see how well you can box.” “Well said, fine fellow,” replied Wukong. “Come on!” 

The Monstrous King shifted his position and struck out. Wukong closed in on him, hurtling himself into the engagement. The two of 
them pummeled and kicked, struggling and colliding with each other. It is easy to miss on a long reach, but a short punch is firm and 
reliable. Wukong jabbed the Monstrous King in the short ribs, hit him on his chest, and gave him such heavy punishment with a few 
sharp blows that the monster stepped aside, picked up his huge scimitar, aimed it straight at Wukong’s head, and slashed at him. 
Wukong dodged, and the blow narrowly missed him. Seeing that his opponent was growing fiercer, Wukong now used the method 
called the Body beyond the Body. Plucking a handful of hairs from his own body and throwing them into his mouth, he chewed them 
to tiny pieces and then spat them into the air. “Change!” he cried, and they changed at once into two or three hundred little monkeys 
encircling the combatants on all sides. For you see, when someone acquires the body of an immortal, he can project his spirit, change 
his form, and perform all kinds of wonders. Since the Monkey King had become accomplished in the Way, every one of the eighty-four 
thousand hairs on his body could change into whatever shape or substance he desired. The little monkeys he had just created were so 
keen of eye and so swift of movement that they could be wounded by neither sword nor spear. Look at them! Skipping and jumping, 
they rushed at the Monstrous King and surrounded him, some hugging, some pulling, some crawling in between his legs, some tugging 
at his feet. They kicked and punched; they yanked at his hair and poked at his eyes; they pinched his nose and tried to sweep him 
completely off his feet, until they tangled themselves into confusion. 

Meanwhile Wukong succeeded in snatching the scimitar, pushed through the throng of little monkeys, and brought the scimitar 
down squarely onto the monster’s skull, cleaving it in two. He and the rest of the monkeys then fought their way into the cave and 
slaughtered all the imps, young and old. With a shake, he collected his hair back onto his body, but there were some monkeys that did 
not return to him. They were the little monkeys kidnaped by the Monstrous King from the Water-Curtain Cave. 

“Why are you here?” asked Wukong. The thirty or fifty of them all said tearfully, “After the Great King went away to seek the way 
of immortality, the monster menaced us for two whole years and finally carried us off to this place. Don’t these utensils belong to our 
cave? These stone pots and bowls were all taken by the creature.” “If these are our belongings,” said Wukong, “move them out of 
here.” He then set fire to the Water-Belly Cave and reduced it to ashes. “All of you,” he said to them, “follow me home.” “Great King,” 
the monkeys said, “when we came here, all we felt was wind rushing past us, and we seemed to float through the air until we arrived 
here. We don’t know the way. How can we go back to our home?” Wukong said, “That’s a magic trick of his. But there’s no difficulty! 
Now I know not only one thing but a hundred! I’m familiar with that trick too. Close your eyes, all of you, and don’t be afraid.” 

Dear Monkey King. He recited a spell, rode for a while on a fierce wind, and then lowered the direction of the cloud. “Little ones,” 
he cried, “open your eyes!” The monkeys felt solid ground beneath their feet and recognized their home territory. In great delight, 
every one of them ran back to the cave along the familiar roads and crowded in together with those waiting in the cave. They then lined 
up according to age and rank and paid tribute to the Monkey King. Wine and fruits were laid out for the welcome banquet. When asked 
how he had subdued the monster and rescued the young ones, Wukong presented a detailed rehearsal, and the monkeys broke into 
unending applause. “Where did you go, Great King?” they cried. “We never expected that you would acquire such skills!” 

“The year I left you all,” Wukong said, “I drifted with the waves across the Great Eastern Ocean and reached the West 
Aparagodanlya Continent. I then arrived at the South JambudvTpa Continent, where I learned human ways, wearing this garment and 
these shoes. I swaggered along with the clouds for eight or nine years, but I had yet to learn the Great Art. I then crossed the Great 
Western Ocean and reached the West Aparagodanlya Continent. 17 After searching for a long time, I had the good fortune to discover an 
old Patriarch, who imparted to me the formula for enjoying the same age as Heaven, the secret of immortality.” “Such luck is hard to 
meet even after ten thousand afflictions!” the monkeys said, all congratulating him. “Little ones,” Wukong said, laughing again, 
“another delight is that our entire family now has a name.” 

“What is the name of the great king?” 

“My surname is Sun,” replied Wukong, “and my religious name is Wukong.” When the monkeys heard this, they all clapped their 
hands and shouted happily, “If the great king is Elder Sun, then we are all Junior Suns, Suns the Third, small Suns, tiny Suns—the Sun 
Family, the Sun Nation, and the Sun Cave!” So they all came and honored Elder Sun with large and small bowls of coconut and grape 
wine, of divine flowers and fruits. It was indeed one big happy family! Lo, 

ie surname is one, the self’s returned to its source, 
lis glory awaits—a name recorded in Heaven! 


Four Seas and 1000 Mountains all bow to submit; 

From Ninefold Darkness ten species ’ names are removed. ^ 

Now we were speaking of the Handsome Monkey King’s triumphant return to his home country. After slaying the Monstrous King of 
Havoc and wresting from him his huge scimitar, he practiced daily with the little monkeys the art of war, teaching them how to sharpen 
bamboos for making spears, file wood for making swords, arrange flags and banners, go on patrol, advance or retreat, and pitch camp. 
For a long time he played thus with them. Suddenly he grew quiet and sat down, thinking out loud to himself, “The game we are 
playing here may turn out to be something quite serious. Suppose we disturb the rulers of humans or of fowls and beasts, and they 
become offended; suppose they say that these military exercises of ours are subversive, and raise an army to destroy us. How can we 
meet them with our bamboo spears and wooden swords? We must have sharp swords and fine halberds. But what can be done at this 
moment?” When the monkeys heard this, they were all alarmed. “The great king’s observation is very sound,” they said, “but where 
can we obtain these things?” As they were speaking, four older monkeys came forward, two female monkeys with red buttocks and 
two bareback gibbons. Coming to the front, they said, “Great King, to be furnished with sharp-edged weapons is a very simple matter.” 
“How is it simple?” asked Wukong. The four monkeys replied, “East of our mountain, across two hundred miles of water, is the 
boundary of the Aolai Country. In that country there is a king who has numberless men and soldiers in his city, and there are bound to 
be all kinds of metalworks there. If the great king goes there, he can either buy weapons or have them made. Then you can teach us 
how to use them for the protection of our mountain, and this will be the stratagem for assuring ourselves of perpetuity.” When Wukong 
heard this, he was filled with delight. “Play here, all of you,” he said. “Let me make a trip.” 

Dear Monkey King! He quickly performed his cloud somersault and crossed the two hundred miles of water in no time. On the other 
side he did indeed discover a city with broad streets and huge marketplaces, countless houses and numerous arches. Under the clear 
sky and bright sun, people were coming and going constantly. Wukong thought to himself, "There must be ready-made weapons 
around here. But going down there to buy a few pieces from them is not as good a bargain as acquiring them by magic.” He therefore 
made the magic sign and recited a spell. Facing the ground on the southwest, he took a deep breath and then blew it out. At once it 
became a mighty wind, hurtling pebbles and rocks through the air. It was truly terrifying: 

lick clouds in vast formation moved o 'er the world; 

ack fog and dusky vapor darkened the Earth; 

aves churned in seas and rivers, affrighting fishes and crabs; 

mghs broke in mountain forests, wolves and tigers taking flight. 

aders and merchants were gone from stores and shops. 

7 single man was seen at sundry marts and malls, 
le king retreated to his chamber from the royal court, 
ficials, martial and civil, returned to their homes, 
lis wind toppled Buddha s throne of a thousand years 
id shook to its foundations the Five-Phoenix Tower. 

The wind arose and separated the king from his subjects in the Aolai Country. Throughout the various boulevards and marketplaces, 
every family bolted the doors and windows and no one dared go outside. Wukong then lowered the direction of his cloud and rushed 
straight through the imperial gate. He found his way to the armory, knocked open the doors, and saw that there were countless weapons 
inside. Scimitars, spears, swords, halberds, battle-axes, scythes, whips, rakes, drumsticks, drums, bows, arrows, forks, and lances— 
every kind was available. Highly pleased, Wukong said to himself, “How many pieces can I possibly carry by myself? I’d better use 
the magic of body division to transport them.” Dear Monkey King! He plucked a handful of hairs, chewed them to pieces in his mouth, 
and spat them out. Reciting the spell, he cried, “Change!” They changed into thousands of little monkeys, who snatched and grabbed 
the weapons. Those that were stronger took six or seven pieces, the weaker ones two or three pieces, and together they emptied out the 
armory. Wukong then mounted the cloud and performed the magic of displacement by calling up a great wind, which carried all the 
little monkeys back to their home. 

We tell you now about the various monkeys, both great and small, who were playing outside the cave of the Flower-Fruit Mountain. 
They suddenly heard the sound of wind and saw in midair a huge horde of monkeys approaching, the sight of which made them all flee 
in terror and hide. In a moment, Wukong lowered his cloud and, shaking himself, collected the pieces of hair back onto his body. All 
the weapons were piled in front of the mountain. “Little ones,” he shouted, “come and receive your weapons!” The monkeys looked 
and saw Wukong standing alone on level ground. They came running to kowtow and ask what had happened. Wukong then recounted 
to them how he had made use of the mighty wind to transport the weapons. After expressing their gratitude, the monkeys all went to 
grab at the scimitars and snatch at the swords, to wield the axes and scramble for spears, to stretch the bows and mount the arrows. 
Shouting and screaming, they played all day long. 

The following day, they marched in formation as usual. Assembling the monkeys, Wukong found that there were forty-seven 
thousand of them. This assembly greatly impressed all the wild beasts of the mountain—wolves, insects, tigers, leopards, mouse deer, 
fallow deer, river deer, foxes, wild cats, badgers, lions, elephants, apes, bears, antelopes, boars, muskoxen, chamois, green one-hom 
buffaloes, wild hares, and giant mastiffs. Led by the various demon kings of no fewer than seventy-two caves, they all came to pay 
homage to the Monkey King. Henceforth they brought annual tributes and answered the roll call made every season. Some of them 
joined in the maneuvers; others supplied provisions in accordance with their rank. In an orderly fashion, they made the entire Flower- 
Fruit Mountain as strong as an iron bucket or a city of metal. The various demon kings also presented metal drums, colored banners, 
and helmets. The hurly-burly of marching and drilling went on day after day. 

While the Handsome Monkey King was enjoying all this, he suddenly said to the multitude, “You all have become adept with the 
bow and arrow and proficient in the use of weapons. But this scimitar of mine is truly cumbersome, not at all to my liking. What can I 
do?” The four elder monkeys came forward and memorialized, “The great king is a divine sage, and therefore it is not fit for him to use 

an earthly weapon. We do not know, however, whether the great king is able to take a journey through water?” “Since I have known 
the Way,” said Wukong, “I have the ability of seventy-two transformations. The cloud somersault has unlimited power. I am familiar 
with the magic of body concealment and the magic of displacement. I can find my way to Heaven or I can enter the Earth. I can walk 
past the sun and the moon without casting a shadow, and I can penetrate stone and metal without hindrance. Water cannot drown me, 
nor fire bum me. Is there any place I can’t go to?” “It’s a good thing that the great king possesses such powers,” said the four monkeys, 
“for the water below this sheet iron bridge of ours flows directly into the Dragon Palace of the Eastern Ocean. If you are willing to go 
down there, Great King, you will find the old Dragon King, from whom you may request some kind of weapon. Won’t that be to your 
liking?” Hearing this, Wukong said with delight, “Let me make the trip!” 

Dear Monkey King! He jumped to the bridgehead and employed the magic of water restriction. Making the magic sign with his 
fingers, he leaped into the waves, which parted for him, and he followed the waterway straight to the bottom of the Eastern Ocean. As 
he was walking, he suddenly ran into a yaksa 2 on patrol, who stopped him with the question, “What divine sage is this who comes 
pushing through the water? Speak plainly so that I can announce your arrival.” Wukong said, “I am the Heaven-bom sage Sun Wukong 
of the Flower-Fruit Mountain, a near neighbor of your old Dragon King. How is it that you don’t recognize me?” When the yaksa 
heard this, he hurried back to the Water-Crystal Palace to report. “Great King,” he said, “there is outside a Heaven-bom sage of the 
Flower-Fruit Mountain named Sun Wukong. He claims that he is a near neighbor of yours, and he is about to arrive at the palace.” 
Aoguang, the Dragon King of the Eastern Ocean, arose immediately; accompanied by dragon sons and grandsons, shrimp soldiers and 
crab generals, he came out for the reception. “High Immortal,” he said, “please come in!” They went into the palace for proper 
introduction, and after offering Wukong the honored seat and tea, the king asked, “When did the high immortal become accomplished 
in the Way, and what kind of divine magic did he receive?” Wukong said, “Since the time of my birth, I have left the family to practice 
self-cultivation. I have now acquired a birthless and deathless body. Recently I have been teaching my children how to protect our 
mountain cave, but unfortunately I am without an appropriate weapon. I have heard that my noble neighbor, who has long enjoyed 
living in this green-jade palace and its shell portals, must have many divine weapons to spare. 1 came specifically to ask for one of 

When the Dragon King heard this, he could hardly refuse. So he ordered a perch commander to bring out a long-handled scimitar, 
and presented it to his visitor. “Old Monkey doesn’t know how to use a scimitar,” said Wukong. “I beg you to give me something 
else.” The Dragon King then commanded a whiting lieutenant together with an eel porter to carry out a nine-pronged fork. Jumping 
down from his seat, Wukong took hold of it and tried a few thrusts. He put it down, saying, “Light! Much too light! And it doesn’t suit 
my hand. I beg you to give me another one.” “High Immortal,” said the Dragon King, laughing, “won’t you even take a closer look? 
This fork weighs three thousand six hundred pounds.” “It doesn’t suit my hand,” Wukong said, “it doesn’t suit my hand!” The Dragon 
King was becoming rather fearful; he ordered a bream admiral and a carp brigadier to carry out a giant halberd, weighing seven 
thousand two hundred pounds. When he saw this, Wukong ran forward and took hold of it. He tried a few thrusts and parries and then 
stuck it in the ground, saying, “It’s still light! Much too light!” The old Dragon King was completely unnerved. “High Immortal,” he 
said, “there’s no weapon in my palace heavier than this halberd.” Laughing, Wukong said, “As the old saying goes, ‘Who worries 
about the Dragon King’s lacking treasures!’ Go and look some more, and if you find something I like, I’ll offer you a good price.” 
“There really aren’t any more here,” said the Dragon King. 

As they were speaking, the dragon mother and her daughter slipped out and said, “Great King, we can see that this is definitely not a 
sage with meager abilities. Inside our ocean treasury is that piece of rare magic iron by which the depth of the Heavenly River 3 is fixed. 
These past few days the iron has been glowing with a strange and lovely light. Could this be a sign that it should be taken out to meet 
this sage?” “That,” said the Dragon King, “was the measure with which the Great Yu 4 fixed the depths of rivers and oceans when he 
conquered the Flood. It’s a piece of magic iron, but of what use could it be to him?” “Let’s not be concerned with whether he could 
find any use for it,” said the dragon mother. “Let’s give it to him, and he can do whatever he wants with it. The important thing is to get 
him out of this palace!” The old Dragon King agreed and told Wukong the whole story. “Take it out and let me see it,” said Wukong. 
Waving his hands, the Dragon King said, “We can’t move it! We can’t even lift it! The high immortal must go there himself to take a 
look.” “Where is it?” asked Wukong. “Take me there.” 

The Dragon King accordingly led him to the center of the ocean treasury, where all at once they saw a thousand shafts of golden 
light. Pointing to the spot, the Dragon King said, “That’s it—the thing that is glowing.” Wukong girded up his clothes and went 
forward to touch it: it was an iron rod more than twenty feet long and as thick as a barrel. Using all his might, he lifted it with both 
hands, saying, “It’s a little too long and too thick. It would be more serviceable if it were somewhat shorter and thinner.” Hardly had he 
finished speaking when the treasure shrunk a few feet in length and became a layer thinner. “Smaller still would be even better,” said 
Wukong, giving it another bounce in his hands. Again the treasure became smaller. Highly pleased, Wukong took it out of the ocean 
treasury to examine it. He found a golden hoop at each end, with solid black iron in between. Immediately adjacent to one of the hoops 
was the inscription, “The Compliant Golden-Hooped Rod. Weight: thirteen thousand five hundred pounds.” He thought to himself in 
secret delight, “This treasure, I suppose, must be most compliant with one’s wishes.” As he walked, he was deliberating in his mind 
and murmuring to himself, bouncing the rod in his hands, “Shorter and thinner still would be marvelous!” By the time he took it 
outside, the rod was no more than twenty feet in length and had the thickness of a rice bowl. 

See how he displayed his power now! He wielded the rod to make lunges and passes, engaging in mock combat all the way back to 
the Water-Crystal Palace. The old Dragon King was so terrified that he shook with fear, and the dragon princes were all panic-stricken. 
Sea-turtles and tortoises drew in their necks; fishes, shrimps, and crabs all hid themselves. Wukong held the treasure in his hands and 
sat in the Water-Crystal Palace. Laughing, he said to the Dragon King, “I am indebted to my good neighbor for his profound kindness.” 
“Please don’t mention it,” said the Dragon King. “This piece of iron is very useful,” said Wukong, “but I have one further statement to 
make.” “What sort of statement does the high immortal wish to make?” asked the Dragon King. Wukong said, “Had there been no such 
iron, I would have let the matter drop. Now that I have it in my hands, I can see that I am wearing the wrong kind of clothes to go with 
it. What am I to do? If you have any martial apparel, you might as well give me some too. I would thank you most heartily.” “This, I 
confess, is not in my possession,” said the Dragon King. Wukong said, “A solitary guest will not disturb two hosts. Even if you claim 

that you don’t have any, I shall never walk out of this door.” “Let the high immortal take the trouble of going to another ocean,” said 
the Dragon King. “He might turn up something there.” “To visit three homes is not as convenient as sitting in one,” said Wukong, “I 
beg you to give me one outfit.” “I really don’t have one,” said the Dragon King, “for if I did, I would have presented it to you.” 

“Is that so?” said Wukong. “Let me try the iron on you!” 

“High Immortal,” the Dragon King said nervously, “don’t ever raise your hand! Don’t ever raise your hand! Let me see whether my 
brothers have any and we’ll try to give you one.” “Where are your honored brothers?” asked Wukong. “They are,” said the Dragon 
King, “Aoqin, Dragon King of the Southern Ocean; Aoshun, Dragon King of the Northern Ocean; and Aorun, Dragon King of the 
Western Ocean.” “Old Monkey is not going to their places,” said Wukong. “For as the common saying goes, ‘Three in bond can’t 
compete with two in hand.’ I’m merely requesting that you find something casual here and give it to me. That’s all.” “There’s no need 
for the high immortal to go anywhere,” said the Dragon King. “I have in my palace an iron drum and a golden bell. Whenever there is 
any emergency, we beat the drum and strike the bell and my brothers are here shortly.” “In that case,” said Wukong, “go beat the drum 
and strike the bell.” The turtle general went at once to strike the bell, while the tortoise marshal came to beat the drum. 

Soon after the drum and the bell had sounded, the Dragon Kings of the Three Oceans got the message and arrived promptly, all 
congregating in the outer courtyard. “Elder Brother,” said Aoqin, “what emergency made you beat the drum and strike the bell?” 
“Good Brother,” answered the old Dragon, “it’s a long story! We have here a certain Heaven-bom sage from the Flower-Fruit 
Mountain, who came here and claimed to be my near neighbor. He subsequently demanded a weapon; the steel fork I presented he 
deemed too small, and the halberd I offered too light. Finally he himself took that piece of rare, divine iron by which the depth of the 
Heavenly River was fixed and used it for mock combat. He is now sitting in the palace and also demanding some sort of battle dress. 
We have none of that here. So we sounded the dmm and the bell to invite you all to come. If you happen to have some such outfit, 
please give it to him so that I can send him out of this door!” 

When Aoqin heard this, he was outraged. “Let us brothers call our army together,” he said, “and arrest him. What’s wrong with 
that?” “Don’t talk about arresting him!” the old Dragon said, “don’t talk about arresting him! That piece of iron—a small stroke with it 
is deadly and a light tap is fatal! The slightest touch will crack the skin and a small rap will injure the muscles!” Aorun, the Dragon 
King of the Western Ocean, said, “Second elder brother should not raise his hand against him. Let us rather assemble an outfit for him 
and get him out of this place. We can then present a formal complaint to Heaven, and Heaven will send its own punishment.” 

“You are right,” said Aoshun, the Dragon King of the Northern Ocean, “I have here a pair of cloud-treading shoes the color of lotus 
root.” Aorun, the Dragon King of the Western Ocean said, “I brought along a cuirass of chain-mail made of yellow gold.” “And I have 
a cap with erect phoenix plumes, made of red gold,” said Aoqin, the Dragon King of the Southern Ocean. The old Dragon King was 
delighted and brought them into the Water-Crystal Palace to present the gifts. Wukong duly put on the gold cap, the gold cuirass, and 
cloud-treading shoes, and, wielding his compliant rod, he fought his way out in mock combat, yelling to the dragons, “Sorry to have 
bothered you!” The Dragon Kings of the Four Oceans were outraged, and they consulted together about filing a formal complaint, of 
which we make no mention here. 

Look at that Monkey King! He opened up the waterway and went straight back to the head of the sheet iron bridge. The four old 
monkeys were leading the other monkeys and waiting beside the bridge. They suddenly beheld Wukong leaping out of the waves: there 
was not a drop of water on his body as he walked onto the bridge, all radiant and golden. The various monkeys were so astonished that 
they all knelt down, crying, “Great King, what marvels! What marvels!” Beaming broadly, Wukong ascended his high throne and set 
up the iron rod right in the center. Not knowing any better, the monkeys all came and tried to pick the treasure up. It was rather like a 
dragonfly attempting to shake an ironwood tree: they could not budge it an inch! Biting their fingers and sticking out their tongues, 
every one of them said, “O Father, it’s so heavy! How did you ever manage to bring it here?” Wukong walked up to the rod, stretched 
forth his hands, and picked it up. Laughing, he said to them, “Everything has its owner. This treasure has presided in the ocean treasury 
for who knows how many thousands of years, and it just happened to glow recently. The Dragon King only recognized it as a piece of 
black iron, though it is also said to be the divine rarity which fixed the bottom of the Heavenly River. All those fellows together could 
not lift or move it, and they asked me to take it myself. At first, this treasure was more than twenty feet long and as thick as a barrel. 
After I struck it once and expressed my feeling that it was too large, it grew smaller. I wanted it smaller still, and again it grew smaller. 
For a third time I commanded it, and it grew smaller still! When I looked at it in the light, it had on it the inscription, ‘The Compliant 
Golden-Hooped Rod. Weight: thirteen thousand five hundred pounds.’ Stand aside, all of you. Let me ask it to go through some more 

He held the treasure in his hands and called out, “Smaller, smaller, smaller!” and at once it shrank to the size of a tiny embroidery 
needle, small enough to be hidden inside the ear. Awestruck, the monkeys cried, “Great King! Take it out and play with it some more.” 
The Monkey King took it out from his ear and placed it on his palm. “Bigger, bigger, bigger!” he shouted, and again it grew to the 
thickness of a barrel and more than twenty feet long. He became so delighted playing with it that he jumped onto the bridge and 
walked out of the cave. Grasping the treasure in his hands, he began to perform the magic of cosmic imitation. Bending over, he cried, 
“Grow!” and at once grew to be ten thousand feet tall, with a head like the Tai Mountain and a chest like a rugged peak, eyes like 
lightning and a mouth like a blood bowl, and teeth like swords and halberds. The rod in his hands was of such a size that its top 
reached the thirty-third Heaven and its bottom the eighteenth layer of Hell. Tigers, leopards, wolves, and crawling creatures, all the 
monsters of the mountain and the demon kings of the seventy-two caves, were so terrified that they kowtowed and paid homage to the 
Monkey King in fear and trembling. Presently he revoked his magical appearance and changed the treasure back into a tiny embroidery 
needle stored in his ear. He returned to the cave dwelling, but the demon kings of the various caves were still frightened, and they 
continued to come to pay their respects. 

At this time, the banners were unfurled, the drums sounded, and the brass gongs struck loudly. A great banquet of a hundred 
delicacies was given, and the cups were filled to overflowing with the fruit of the vines and the juices of the coconut. They drank and 
feasted for a long time, and they engaged in military exercises as before. The Monkey King made the four old monkeys mighty 
commanders of his troops by appointing the two female monkeys with red buttocks as marshals Ma and Liu, and the two bareback 
gibbons as generals Beng and Ba. The four mighty commanders, moreover, were entrusted with all matters concerning fortification, 

pitching camps, reward, and punishment. Having settled all this, the Monkey King felt completely at ease to soar on the clouds and 
ride the mist, to tour the four seas and disport himself in a thousand mountains. Displaying his martial skill, he made extensive visits to 
various heroes and warriors; performing his magic, he made many good friends. At this time, moreover, he entered into fraternal 
alliance with six other monarchs: the Bull Monster King, the Dragon Monster King, the Garuda Monster King, the Giant Lynx King, 
the Macaque King, and the Orangutan King. Together with the Handsome Monkey King, they formed a fraternal order of seven. Day 
after day they discussed civil and military arts, exchanged wine cups and goblets, sang and danced to songs and strings. They gathered 
in the morning and parted in the evening; there was not a single pleasure that they overlooked, covering a distance of ten thousand 
miles as if it were but the span of their own courtyard. As the saying has it, 

ne nod of the head goes farther than three thousand miles; 
ne twist of the torso covers more than eight hundred. 

One day, the four mighty commanders had been told to prepare a great banquet in their own cave, and the six kings were invited to 
the feast. They killed cows and slaughtered horses; they sacrificed to Heaven and Earth. The various imps were ordered to dance and 
sing, and they all drank until they were thoroughly drunk. After sending the six kings off, Wukong also rewarded the leaders great and 
small with gifts. Reclining in the shade of pine trees near the sheet iron bridge, he fell asleep in a moment. The four mighty 
commanders led the crowd to form a protective circle around him, not daring to raise their voices. In his sleep the Handsome Monkey 
King saw two men approach with a summons with the three characters “Sun Wukong” written on it. They walked up to him and, 
without a word, tied him up with a rope and dragged him off. The soul of the Handsome Monkey King was reeling from side to side. 
They reached the edge of a city. The Monkey King was gradually coming to himself, when he lifted up his head and suddenly saw 
above the city an iron sign bearing in large letters the three words “Region of Darkness.” The Handsome Monkey King at once became 
fully conscious. “The Region of Darkness is the abode of Yama, King of Death,” he said. “Why am I here?” “Your age in the World of 
Life has come to an end,” the two men said. “The two of us were given this summons to arrest you.” When the Monkey King heard 
this, he said, “I, old Monkey himself, have transcended the Three Regions and the Five Phases; 6 hence I ant no longer under Yarna’s 
jurisdiction. Why is he so confused that he wants to arrest me?” The two summoners paid scant attention. Yanking and pulling, they 
were determined to haul him inside. Growing angry, the Monkey King whipped out his treasure. One wave of it turned it into the 
thickness of a rice bowl; he raised his hands once, and the two summoners were reduced to hash. He untied the rope, freed his hands, 
and fought his way into the city, wielding the rod. Bull-headed demons hid in terror, and horse-faced demons fled in every direction. A 
band of ghost soldiers ran up to the Palace of Darkness, crying, “Great Kings! Disaster! Disaster! Outside there’s a hairy-faced thunder 
god fighting his way in!” 

Their report alarmed the Ten Kings of the Underworld so much that they quickly straightened out their attire and went out to see 
what was happening. Discovering a fierce and angry figure, they lined up according to their ranks and greeted him with loud voices: 
“High Immortal, tell us your name. High Immortal, tell us your name.” “I am the Heaven-bom sage Sun Wukong from the Water- 
Curtain Cave in the Flower-Fruit Mountain,” said the Monkey King, “what kind of officials are you?” “We are the Emperors of 
Darkness,” answered the Ten Kings, bowing, “the Ten Kings of the Underworld.” “Tell me each of your names at once,” said Wukong, 
“or I’ll give you a drubbing.” 

The Ten Kings said, “We are: King Qinguang, King of the Beginning River, King of the Song Emperor, King of Avenging Ministers, 
King Yama, King of Equal Ranks, King of the Tai Mountain, King of City Markets, King of the Complete Change, and King of the 
Turning Wheel.” 6 

“Since you have all ascended the thrones of kingship,” said Wukong, “you should be intelligent beings, responsible in rewards and 
punishments. Why are you so ignorant of good and evil? Old Monkey has acquired the Dao and attained immortality. I enjoy the same 
age as Heaven, and I have transcended the Three Regions and leapt clear of the Five Phases. Why, then, did you send men to arrest 

“High Immortal,” said the Ten Kings, “let your anger subside. There are many people in this world with the same name and 
surname. Couldn’t the summoners have made a mistake?” “Nonsense! Nonsense!” said Wukong. “The proverb says, ‘Officials err, 
clerks err, but the summoner never errs! ’ Quick, bring out your register of births and deaths, and let me have a look.” 

When the Ten Kings heard this, they invited him to go into the palace to see for himself. Holding his compliant rod, Wukong went 
straight up to the Palace of Darkness and, facing south, sat down in the middle. The Ten Kings immediately had the judge in charge of 
the records bring out his books for examination. The judge, who did not dare tarry, hastened into a side room and brought out five or 
six books of documents and the ledgers on the ten species of living beings. He went through them one by one—shorthaired creatures, 
furry creatures, winged creatures, crawling creatures, and scaly creatures—but he did not find his name. He then proceeded to the file 
on monkeys. You see, though this monkey resembled a human being, he was not listed under the names of men; though he resembled 
the short-haired creatures, he did not dwell in their kingdoms; though he resembled other animals, he was not subject to the unicorn; 
and though he resembled flying creatures, he was not governed by the phoenix. He had, therefore, a separate ledger, which Wukong 
examined himself. Under the heading “Soul 1350” he found the name Sun Wukong recorded, with the description: “Heaven-bom 
Stone Monkey. Age: three hundred and forty-two years. A good end.” 

Wukong said, “I really don’t remember my age. All I want is to erase my name. Bring me a brush.” The judge hurriedly fetched the 
brush and soaked it in heavy ink. Wukong took the ledger on monkeys and crossed out all the names he could find in it. Throwing 
down the ledger, he said, "That ends the account! That ends the account! Now I’m truly not your subject.” Brandishing his rod, he 
fought his way out of the Region of Darkness. The Ten Kings did not dare approach him. They went instead to the Green Cloud Palace 
to consult the Bodhisattva King Ksitigarbha and made plans to report the incident to Heaven, which does not concern us for the 

While our Monkey King was fighting his way out of the city, he was suddenly caught in a clump of grass and stumbled. Waking up 
with a start, he realized that it was all a dream. As he was stretching himself, he heard the four mighty commanders and the various 
monkeys crying with a loud voice, “Great King! How much wine did you imbibe? You’ve slept all night long. Aren’t you awake yet?” 

“Sleeping is nothing to get excited about,” said Wukong, “but I dreamed that two men came to arrest me, and I didn’t perceive their 
intention until they brought me to the outskirts of the Region of Darkness. Showing my power, I protested right up to the Palace of 
Darkness and argued with the Ten Kings. I went through our ledger of births and deaths and crossed out all our names. Those fellows 
have no hold over us now.” The various monkeys all kowtowed to express their gratitude. From that time onward there were many 
mountain monkeys who did not grow old, for their names were not registered in the Underworld. When the Handsome Monkey King 
finished his account of what had happened, the four mighty commanders reported the story to the demon kings of various caves, who 
all came to tender their congratulations. Only a few days had passed when the six sworn brothers also came to congratulate him, all of 
them delighted about the cancellation of the names. We shall not elaborate here on their joyful gathering. 

We shall turn instead to the Great Benevolent Sage of Heaven, the Celestial Jade Emperor of the Most Venerable Deva, who was 
holding court one day in the Treasure Hall of Divine Mists, the Cloud Palace of Golden Arches. The divine ministers, civil and 
military, were just gathering for the morning session when suddenly the Daoist immortal Qiu Hongzhi announced, “Your Majesty, 
outside the Translucent Palace, Aoguang, the Dragon King of the Eastern Ocean, is awaiting your command to present a memorial to 
the Throne.” The Jade Emperor gave the order to have him brought forth, and Aoguang was led into the Hall of Divine Mists. After he 
had paid his respects, a divine page boy in charge of documents received the memorial, and the Jade Emperor read it from the 
beginning. The memorial said: 

From the lowly water region of the Eastern Ocean at the East Purvavideha Continent, the small dragon subject, Aoguang, humbly informs the Wise Lord of Heaven, the Most Eminent High God and 
Ruler, that a bogus immortal, Sun Wukong, bom of the Flower-Fruit Mountain and resident of the Water-Curtain Cave, has recently abused your small dragon, gaining a seat in his water home by force. 
He demanded a weapon, employing power and intimidation; he asked for martial attire, unleashing violence and threats. He terrorized my water kinsmen, and scattered turtles and tortoises. The Dragon 
of the Southern Ocean trembled; the Dragon of the Western Ocean was filled with horror; the Dragon of the Northern Ocean drew back his head to surrender; and your subject Aoguang flexed his body 
to do obeisance. We presented him with the divine treasure of an iron rod and the gold cap with phoenix plumes; giving him also a chain-mail cuirass and cloud-treading shoes, we sent him off 
courteously. But even then he was bent on displaying his martial prowess and magical powers, and all he could say to us was “Sorry to have bothered you!” We are indeed no match for him, nor are we 
able to subdue him. Your subject therefore presents this petition and humbly begs for imperial justice. We earnestly beseech you to dispatch the Heavenly host and capture this monster, so that 
tranquility may be restored to the oceans and prosperity to the Lower Region. Thus we present this memorial. 

When the Holy Emperor had finished reading, he gave the command: “Let the Dragon God return to the ocean. We shall send our 
generals to arrest the culprit.” The old Dragon King gratefully touched his forehead to the ground and left. From below the Immortal 
Elder Ge, the Celestial Master, 8 also brought forth the report. “Your Majesty, the Minister of Darkness, King Qinguang, supported by 
the Bodhisattva King Ksitigarbha, Pope of the Underworld, has arrived to present his memorial.” The jade girl in charge of 
communication came from the side to receive this document, which the Jade Emperor also read from the beginning. The memorial 

The Region of Darkness is the nether region proper to Earth. As Heaven is for gods and Earth for ghosts, so life and death proceed in cyclic succession. Fowls are bom and animals die; male and 
female, they multiply. Births and transformations, the male begotten of the procreative female—such is the order of Nature, and it cannot be changed. But now appears Sun Wukong, a Heaven-bom 
baneful monkey from the Water-Curtain Cave in the Flower-Fruit Mountain, who practices evil and violence, and resists our proper summons. Exercising magic powers, he utterly defeated the ghostly 
messengers of Ninefold Darkness; exploiting brute force, he terrorized the Ten Merciful Kings. He caused great confusion in the Palace of Darkness; he abrogated by force the Register of Names, so 
that the category of monkeys is now beyond control, and inordinately long life is given to the simian family. The wheel of transmigration is stopped, for birth and death are eliminated in each kind of 
monkey. Your poor monk therefore risks offending your Heavenly authority in presenting this memorial. We humbly beg you to send forth your divine army and subdue this monster, to the end that life 
and death may once more be regulated and the Underworld rendered perpetually secure. Respectfully we present this memorial. 

When the Jade Emperor had finished reading, he again gave a command: “Let the Lord of Darkness return to the Underworld. We shall 
send our generals to arrest this culprit.” King Qinguang also touched his head to the ground gratefully and left. 

The Great Heavenly Deva called together his various immortal subjects, both civil and military, and asked, “When was this baneful 
monkey bom, and in which generation did he begin his career? How is it that he has become so powerfully accomplished in the Way?” 
Scarcely had he finished speaking when, from the ranks, Thousand-Mile Eye and Fair-Wind Ear stepped forward. “This monkey,” they 
said, “is the Heaven-bom stone monkey of three hundred years ago. At that time he did not seem to amount to much, and we do not 
know where he acquired the knowledge of self-cultivation these last few years and became an immortal. Now he knows how to subdue 
dragons and tame tigers, 9 and thus he is able to annul by force the Register of Death.” “Which one of you divine generals,” asked the 
Jade Emperor, “wishes to go down there to subdue him?” 

Scarcely had he finished speaking when the Long-Life Spirit of the Planet Venus came forward from the ranks and prostrated 
himself. “Highest and Holiest,” he said, “within the three regions, all creatures endowed with the nine apertures can, through exercise, 
become immortals. It is not surprising that this monkey, with a body nurtured by Heaven and Earth, a frame bom of the sun and moon, 
should achieve immortality, seeing that his head points to Heaven and his feet walk on Earth, and that he feeds on the dew and the 
mist. Now that he has the power to subdue dragons and tame tigers, how is he different from a human being? Your subject therefore 
makes so bold as to ask Your Majesty to remember the compassionate grace of Creation and issue a decree of pacification. Let him be 
summoned to the Upper Region and given some kind of official duties. His name will be recorded in the Register and we can control 
hint here. If he is receptive to the Heavenly decree, he will be rewarded and promoted hereafter; but if he is disobedient to your 
command, we shall arrest him forthwith. Such an action will spare us a military expedition in the first place, and, in the second, permit 
us to receive into our midst another immortal in an orderly manner.” 

The Jade Emperor was highly pleased with this statement, and he said, “We shall follow the counsel of our minister.” He then 
ordered the Star Spirit of Songs and Letters to compose the decree, and delegated the Gold Star of Venus to be the viceroy of peace. 
Having received the decree, the Gold Star went out of the South Heaven Gate, lowered the direction of his hallowed cloud, and headed 
straight for the Flower-Fruit Mountain and the Water-Curtain Cave. He said to the various little monkeys, “I am the Heavenly 
messenger sent from above. I have with me an imperial decree to invite your great king to go to the Upper Region. Report this to him 
quickly!” The monkeys outside the cave passed the word along one by one until it reached the depth of the cave. “Great King,” one of 
the monkeys said, “there’s an old man outside bearing a document on his back. He says that he is a messenger sent from Heaven, and 
he has an imperial decree of invitation for you.” Upon hearing this, the Handsome Monkey King was exceedingly pleased. “These last 
two days,” he said, “I was just thinking about taking a little trip to Heaven, and the heavenly messenger has already come to invite 
me!” The Monkey King quickly straightened out his attire and went to the door for the reception. The Gold Star came into the center of 
the cave and stood still with his face toward the south. “I am the Gold Star of Venus from the West,” he said. “I came down to Earth, 
bearing the imperial decree of pacification from the Jade Emperor, and invite you to go to Heaven to receive an immortal 

appointment.” Laughing, Wukong said, “I am most grateful for the Old Star’s visit.” He then gave the order: ‘‘Little ones, prepare a 
banquet to entertain our guest.” The Gold Star said, “As a bearer of imperial decree, I cannot remain here long. I must ask the Great 
King to go with me at once. After your glorious promotion, we shall have many occasions to converse at our leisure.” “We are honored 
by your presence,” said Wukong; “I am sorry that you have to leave with empty hands!” He then called the four mighty commanders 
together for this admonition: “Be diligent in teaching and drilling the young ones. Let me go up to Heaven to take a look and to see 
whether I can have you all brought up there too to live with me.” The four mighty commanders indicated their obedience. This 
Monkey King mounted the cloud with the Gold Star and rose up into the sky. Truly 

2 ascends the high rank of immortals from the sky; 

Is name's enrolled in cloud columns and treasure scrolls. 



Appointed a BanHorse, could he be content? 

Named Equal to Heaven, he s still not appeased. 

The Gold Star of Venus left the depths of the cave dwelling with the Handsome Monkey King, and together they rose by mounting the 
clouds. But the cloud somersault of Wukong, you see, is no common magic; its speed is tremendous. Soon he left the Gold Star far 
behind and arrived first at the South Heaven Gate. He was about to dismount from the cloud and go in when the Devaraja Virudhaka 
leading Pang, Liu, Kou, Bi, Deng, Xin, Zhang, and Tao, the various divine heroes, barred the way with spears, scimitars, swords, and 
halberds and refused him entrance. The Monkey King said, “What a deceitful fellow that Gold Star is! If old Monkey has been invited 
here, why have these people been ordered to use their swords and spears to bar my entrance?” He was protesting loudly when the Gold 
Star arrived in haste. “Old man,” said Wukong angrily to his face, “why did you deceive me? You told me that I was invited by the 
Jade Emperor’s decree of pacification. Why then did you get these people to block the Heaven Gate and prevent my entering?” “Let 
the Great King calm down,” the Gold Star said, laughing. “Since you have never been to the Hall of Heaven before, nor have you been 
given a name, you are quite unknown to the various heavenly guardians. How can they let you in on their own authority? Once you 
have seen the Heavenly Deva, received an appointment, and had your name listed in the Immortal Register, you can go in and out as 
you please. Who would then obstruct your way?” “If that’s how it is,” said Wukong, “it’s all right. But I’m not going in by myself.” 
“Then go in with me,” said the Gold Star, pulling him by the hand. 

As they approached the gate, the Gold Star called out loudly, “Guardians of the Heaven Gate, lieutenants great and small, make way! 
This person is an immortal from the Region Below, whom I have summoned by the imperial decree of the Jade Emperor.” The 
Devaraja Virudhaka and the various divine heroes immediately lowered their weapons and stepped aside, and the Monkey King finally 
believed what he had been told. He walked slowly inside with the Gold Star and looked around. For it was truly 

is first ascent to the Region Above, 

is sudden entrance into the Hall of Heaven, 

here ten thousand shafts of golden light whirled as a coral rainbow, 

id a thousand layers of hallowed air diffused mist ofpurple. 

>ok at that South Heaven Gate! 

• deep shades of green 

•om glazed tiles were made; 

• radiant battlements 
iorned with treasure jade. 

n two sides were posted scores of celestial sentinels, 
ich of whom, standing tall beside the pillars, 
irried bows and clutched banners. 

1 around were sundry divine beings in golden armor, 
ich of them holding halberds and whips, 

*• wielding scimitars and swords, 
ipressive may be the outer court; 
verwhelming is the sight within! 
the inner halls stood several huge pillars 

rcled by red-whiskered dragons whose golden scales gleamed in the sun. 
lere were, moreover, a few long bridges; 

iove them crimson-headed phoenixes circled with soaring plumes of many hues. 

■ight mist shimmered in the light of the sky. 

'•een fog descending obscured the stars, 
lirty-three Heavenly mansions were found up here, 

ith names like the Scattered Cloud, the Vaisrvana, the Pancavidya, the Suyama, the Nirmanarati . . . ^ 
n the roof of every mansion the ridge held a stately golden beast, 
lere were also the seventy-two treasure halls, 

ith names like the Morning Assembly, the Transcendent Void, the Precious Light, the Heavenly King, the Divine Minister. . . 

every hall beneath the pillars stood rows of jade unicorn. 

n the Platform of Canopus? 

lere were flowers unfading in a thousand millennia; 

?side the oven for refining herbs, 

lere were exotic grasses growing green for ten thousand years. 

? went before the Tower of Homage to the Sage, 
here he saw robes of royal purple gauze 
■illiant as stars refulgent, 
ips the shape of hibiscus, 
isplendent with gold and precious stones, 
id pins of jade and shoes of pearl, 
id purple sashes and golden ornaments, 
hen the golden bells swayed to their striking, 

le memorial of the Three Judges ^ would cross the vermilion courtyard; 
hen the drums of Heaven were sounded, 

n thousand sages of the royal audience would honor the Jade Emperor. 

? went, too, to the Treasure Hall of Divine Mists 
here nails ofgold penetrated frames ofjade, 
id colorful phoenixes danced atop scarlet doors. 

2re were covered bridges and winding corridors 
i splaying every where openwork carvings most elegant; 
id eaves crowding together in layers three and four, 
n each of which reared up phoenixes and dragons, 
lere was high above 
round dome big, bright, and brilliant — 

: shape, a huge gourd of purple gold, 
dow which guardian goddesses hung out their fans 
id jade maidens held up their immortal veils, 
irocious were the sky marshals overseeing the court; 

Ignified, the divine officials protecting the Throne, 
tere at the center, on a crystal platter, 
blets of the Great Monad Elixir were heaped; 
id rising out of the cornelian vases 

2 re several branches of twisting coral. 

i it was that 

ire goods of every order were found in Heaven's Hall, 

id nothing like them on Earth could ever be seen — 

lose golden arches, silver coaches, and that Heavenly house, 

lose coralline blooms and jasper plants with their buds ofjade. 

le jade rabbit passed the platform to adore the king. 

le golden crow flew by to worship the sage 

essed was the Monkey King coming to this Heavenly realm, 

? who was not mired in the filthy soil of man. 

The Gold Star of Venus led the Handsome Monkey King to the Treasure Hall of Divine Mists, and, without waiting for further 
announcement, they went into the imperial presence. While the Star prostrated himself, Wukong stood erect by him. Showing no 
respect, he cocked his ear only to listen to the report of the Gold Star. “According to your decree,” said the Gold Star, “your subject has 
brought the bogus immortal.” “Which one is the bogus immortal?” asked the Jade Emperor graciously. Only then did Wukong bow and 
reply, “None other than old Monkey!” Blanching with horror, the various divine officials said, “That wild ape! Already he has failed to 
prostrate himself before the Throne, and now he dares to come forward with such an insolent reply as ‘None other than old Monkey’! 
He is worthy of death, worthy of death!” “That fellow Sun Wukong is a bogus immortal from the Region Below,” announced the Jade 
Emperor, “and he has only recently acquired the form of a human being. We shall pardon him this time for his ignorance of court 
etiquette.” “Thank you, Your Majesty,” cried the various divine officials. Only then did the Monkey King bow deeply with folded 
hands and utter a cry of gratitude. The Jade Emperor then ordered the divine officials, both civil and military, to see what vacant 
appointment there might be for Sun Wukong to receive. From the side came the Star Spirit of Wuqu, who reported, “In every mansion 
and hall everywhere in the Palace of Heaven, there is no lack of ministers. Only at the imperial stables is a supervisor needed.” “Let 
him be made a BanHorsePlague,” 5 proclaimed the Jade Emperor. The various subjects again shouted their thanks, but Monkey only 
bowed deeply and gave a loud whoop of gratitude. The Jade Emperor then sent the Star Spirit of Jupiter to accompany him to the 

The Monkey King went happily with the Star Spirit of Jupiter to the stables in order to assume his duties. After the Star Spirit had 
returned to his own mansion, the new officer gathered together the deputy and assistant supervisors, the accountants and stewards, and 
other officials both great and small and made thorough investigation of all the affairs of the stables. There were about a thousand 
celestial horses, 6 and they were all 

jalius and Chizhis 
l’ers and Xianlis, 

msorts of Dragons and Purple Swallows, 
ilded Wings and Suxiangs, 
etis and Silver Hooves, 
oniaos and Flying Yellows. 

'testnuts and Faster-than-Arrows, 
id Hares and Speedier-than-Lights, 

•aping Lights and Vaulting Shadows, 
sing Fogs and Triumphant Yellows, 
ind Chasers and Distance Breakers, 
ying Pinions and Surging Airs, 
ishing Winds and Fiery Lightnings, 
opper Sparrows and Drifting Clouds, 

■*agonlike piebalds and Tigerlike pintos, 
ust Quenchers and Purple Scales, 
id Ferghana^ from the Four Corners, 
ke the Eight Steeds and Nine Stallions 
ley have no rivals within a thousand miles! 

<ch are these fine horses. 

>ery one of which 

lighs like the wind and gallops like thunder to show a mighty spirit, 
tey tread the mist and mount the clouds with unflagging strength. 

Our Monkey King went through the lists and made a thorough inspection of the horses. Within the imperial stables, the accountants 
were in charge of getting supplies; the stewards groomed and washed the horses, chopped hay watered them, and prepared their food; 
and the deputies and assistants saw to the overall management. Never resting, the Bima oversaw the care of the horses, fussing with 
them by day and watching over them diligently by night. Those horses that wanted to sleep were stirred up and fed; those that wanted 
to gallop were caught and placed in the stalls. When the celestial horses saw him, they all behaved most properly and they were so well 
cared for that their flanks became swollen with fat. 

More than half a month soon went by, and on one leisurely morning, the various department ministers gave a banquet to welcome 
and congratulate him. While they were drinking happily, the Monkey King suddenly put down his cup and asked: “What sort of rank is 
this BanHorsePlague of mine?” “The rank and the title are the same,” they said. “But what ministerial grade is it?” “It does not have a 
grade,” they said. “If it does not have a grade,” said the Monkey King, “I suppose it must be the very highest.” “Not at all,” they 
replied, “it can only be called ‘the unclassified’!” The Monkey King said, “What do you mean by ‘the unclassified’?” “It is really the 
meanest level,” they said. “This kind of minister is the lowest of the low ranks; hence he can only look after horses. Take the case of 
Your Honor, who, since your arrival, have been so diligent in discharging your duties. If the horses are fattened, you will only earn 
yourself a ‘Fairly Good!’ If they look at all thin, you will be roundly rebuked. And if they are seriously hurt or wounded, you will be 
prosecuted and fined.” 

When the Monkey King heard this, fire leaped up from his heart. “So that’s the contempt they have for old Monkey!” he cried 
angrily, gnashing his teeth. “At the Flower-Fruit Mountain I was honored as king and patriarch. How dare they trick me into coming to 
look after horses for them, if horse tending is such a menial service, reserved only for the young and lowly? Is such treatment worthy 
of me? I’m quitting! I’m quitting! I’m leaving right now!” With a crash, he kicked over his official desk and took the treasure out of his 
ear. One wave of his hand and it had the thickness of a rice bowl. Delivering blows in all directions, he fought his way out of the 
imperial stables and went straight to the South Heaven Gate. The various celestial guardians, knowing that he had been officially 
appointed a BanHorsePlague, did not dare stop him and allowed him to fight his way out of the Heaven Gate. 

In a moment, he lowered the direction of his cloud and returned to the Flower-Fruit Mountain. The four mighty commanders were 
seen drilling troops with the Monster Kings of various caves. “Little ones,” this Monkey King cried in a loud voice, “old Monkey has 
returned!” The flock of monkeys all came to kowtow and received him into the depths of the cave dwelling. As the Monkey King 
ascended his throne, they busily prepared a banquet to welcome him. “Receive our congratulations. Great King,” they said. “Having 
gone to the region above for more than ten years, you must be returning in success and glory.” “I have been away for only half a 
month,” said the Monkey King. “How can it be more than ten years?” 

“Great King,” said the various monkeys, “you are not aware of time and season when you are in Heaven. One day in Heaven above 
is equal to a year on Earth. May we ask the Great King what ministerial appointment he received?” 

“Don’t mention that! Don't mention that!” said the Monkey King, waving his hand. “It embarrasses me to death! That Jade Emperor 
does not know how to use talent. Seeing the features of old Monkey, he appointed me to something called the BanHorsePlague, which 
actually means taking care of horses for him. It’s a job too low even to be classified! I didn’t know this when I first assumed my duties, 
and so I managed to have some fun at the imperial stables. But when I asked my colleagues today, I discovered what a degraded 
position it was. I was so furious that I knocked over the banquet they were giving me and rejected the title. That’s why I came back 
down.” “Welcome back!” said the various monkeys, “welcome back! Our Great King can be the sovereign of this blessed cave 
dwelling with the greatest honor and happiness. Why should he go away to be someone’s stable boy?” “Little ones,” they cried, “send 
up the wine quickly and cheer up our Great King.” 

As they were drinking wine and conversing happily, someone came to report: “Great King, there are two one-homed demon kings 
outside who want to see you.” “Show them in,” said the Monkey King. The demon kings straightened out their attire, ran into the cave, 
and prostrated themselves. “Why did you want to see me?” asked the Handsome Monkey King. “We have long heard that the Great 
King is receptive to talents,” said the demon kings, “but we had no reason to request your audience. Now we learn that our Great King 
has received a divine appointment and has returned in success and glory. We have come, therefore, to present the Great King with a red 
and yellow robe for his celebration. If you are not disdainful of the uncouth and the lowly and are willing to receive us plebeians, we 
shall serve you as dogs or as horses.” Highly pleased, the Monkey King put on the red and yellow robe while the rest of them lined up 
joyfully and did homage. He then appointed the demon kings to be the Vanguard Commanders, Marshals of the Forward Regiments. 
After expressing their thanks, the demon kings asked again, “Since our Great King was in Heaven for a long time, may we ask what 
kind of appointment he received?” “The Jade Emperor belittles the talented,” said the Monkey King. “He only made me something 
called the BanHorsePlague.” Hearing this, the demon kings said again, “Great King has such divine powers! Why should you take care 
of horses for him? What is there to stop you from assuming the rank of the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven?” When the Monkey King 
heard these words, he could not conceal his delight, shouting repeatedly, “Bravo! Bravo!” “Make me a banner immediately,” he 
ordered the four mighty commanders, “and inscribe on it in large letters, ‘The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven.’ Erect a pole to hang it on. 
From now on, address me only as the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, and the title Great King will no longer be pennitted. The Monster 
Kings of the various caves will also be informed so that it will be known to all.” Of this we shall speak no further. 

We now refer to the Jade Emperor, who held court the next day. The Celestial Master Zhang 8 was seen leading the deputy and the 
assistant of the imperial stables to come before the vermilion courtyard. “Your Majesty,” they said, prostrating themselves, “the newly 
appointed BanHorsePlague, Sun Wukong, objected to his rank as being too low and left the Heavenly Palace yesterday in rebellion.” 
Meanwhile, the Devaraja Virudhaka, leading the various celestial guardians from the South Heaven Gate, also made the report, “The 
BanHorsePlague for reasons unknown to us has walked out of the Heaven Gate.” When the Jade Emperor heard this, he made the 
proclamation: “Let the two divine commanders and their followers return to their duties. We shall send forth celestial soldiers to 
capture this monster.” From among the ranks, Devaraja Li , 9 who was the Pagoda Bearer, and his Third Prince Nata came forward and 
presented their request, saying, “Your Majesty, though your humble subjects are not gifted, we await your authorization to subdue this 
monster.” Delighted, the Jade Emperor appointed Pagoda Bearer Devaraja Li Jing to be grand marshal for subduing the monster, and 
promoted Third Prince Nata to be the great deity in charge of the Three-Platform Assembly of the Saints. They were to lead an 
expeditionary force at once for the Region Below. 

Devaraja Li and Nata kowtowed to take leave and went back to their own mansion. After reviewing the troops and their captains and 
lieutenants, they appointed Mighty-Spirit God to be Vanward Commander, the Fish-Belly General to bring up the rear, and the General 
of the Yaksas to urge the troops on. In a moment they left by the South Heaven Gate and went straight to the Flower-Fruit Mountain. A 
level piece of land was selected for encampment, and the order was then given to the Mighty-Spirit God to provoke battle. Having 
received his order and having buckled and knotted his armor properly, the Mighty-Spirit God grasped his spreading-flower ax and 
came to the Water-Curtain Cave. There in front of the cave he saw a great mob of monsters, all of them wolves, insects, tigers, 
leopards, and the like; they were all jumping and growling, brandishing their swords and waving their spears. 

“Damnable beasts!” shouted the Mighty-Spirit God. “Hurry and tell the BanHorsePlague that I, a great general from Heaven, have 
by the authorization of the Jade Emperor come to subdue him. Tell him to come out quickly and surrender, lest all of you be 
annihilated!” Running pell-mell into the cave, those monsters shouted the report, “Disaster! Disaster!” “What sort of disaster?” asked 
the Monkey King. “There’s a celestial warrior outside,” said the monsters, “who claims the title of an imperial envoy. He says he came 
by the holy decree of the Jade Emperor to subdue you, and he orders you to go out quickly and surrender, lest we lose our lives.” 
Hearing this, the Monkey King commanded, “Get my battle dress!” He quickly donned his red gold cap, pulled on his yellow gold 
cuirass, slipped on his cloud-treading shoes, and seized the compliant golden-hooped rod. He led the crowd outside and set them up in 
battle formation. The Mighty-Spirit God opened wide his eyes and stared at this magnificent Monkey King: 

ie gold cuirass worn on his body was brilliant and bright; 
le gold cap on his head also glistened in the light, 
his hands was a staff, the golden-hooped rod, 
tat well became the cloud-treading shoes on his feet. 

Is eyes glowered strangely like burning stars. 

inging past his shoulders were two ears, forked and hard. 

Is remarkable body knew many ways of change, 
id his voice resounded like bells and chimes. 

iw BanHorsePlague with beaked mouth and gaping teeth 
med high to be the Equal to Heaven Sage. 

“Lawless ape,” the Mighty-Spirit God roared powerfully, “do you recognize me?” When the Great Sage heard these words, he asked 
quickly, “What sort of dull-witted deity are you? Old Monkey has yet to meet you! State your name at once!” “Fraudulent simian,” 
cried the Mighty-Spirit, “what do you mean, you don’t recognize me? I am the Celestial General of Mighty-Spirit, the Vanward 
Commander and subordinate to Devaraja Li, the Pagoda Bearer, from the divine empyrean. I have come by the imperial decree of the 
Jade Emperor to receive your submission. Strip yourself of your apparel immediately and yield to the Heavenly grace, so that this 
mountainful of creatures can avoid execution. If you dare but utter half a ‘No,’ you will be reduced to powder in seconds!” 

When the Monkey King heard those words, he was filled with anger. “Reckless simpleton!” he cried. “Stop bragging and wagging 
your tongue! I would have killed you with one stroke of my rod, but then I would have no one to communicate my message. So, I’ll 
spare your life for the moment. Go back to Heaven quickly and inform the Jade Emperor that he has no regard for talent. Old Monkey 
has unlimited abilities. Why did he ask me to mind horses for him? Take a good look at the words on this banner. If I am promoted 
according to its title, I will lay down my arms, and the cosmos will then be fair and tranquil. But if he does not agree to my demand, 
I’ll fight my way up to the Treasure Hall of Divine Mists, and he won’t even be able to sit on his dragon throne!” When the Mighty- 
Spirit God heard these words, he opened his eyes wide, facing the wind, and saw indeed a tall pole outside the cave. On the pole hung 
a banner bearing in large letters the words, “The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven.” 

The Mighty-Spirit God laughed scornfully three times and jeered, “Lawless ape! How fatuous can you be, and how arrogant! So you 
want to be the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven! Be good enough to take a bit of my ax first!” Aiming at his head, he hacked at him, but, 
being a knowledgeable fighter, the Monkey King was not unnerved. He met the blow at once with his golden-hooped rod, and this 
exciting battle was on. 

ie rod was named Compliant; 
le ax was called Spreading Flower, 
te two of them, meeting suddenly. 

Id not yet know their weakness or strength; 
it ax and rod 
'ashed left and right. 

'ie concealed secret powers most wondrous; 
i e other vaunted openly his vigor and might, 
ley used magic — 

owing out cloud and puffing up fog; 
tey stretched their hands, 

Mattering mud and spraying sand, 
ie might of the celestial battler had its way: 
it the Monkey had boundless power of change, 
ie rod uplifted—a dragon played in water; 
i e ax arrived—a phoenix sliced through flowers. 
ighty-Spirit, whose name spread through the world, 
prowess truly could not match the other one. 
ie Great Sage whirling lightly his iron staff 
mid numb the body with one blow on the head. 

The Mighty-Spirit God could oppose him no longer and allowed the Monkey King to aim a mighty blow at his head, which he hastily 
sought to parry with his ax. With a crack the ax handle split in two, and Mighty-Spirit turned swiftly to flee for his life. “Imbecile! 
Imbecile!” laughed the Monkey King, “I’ve already spared you. Go and report my message at once!” 

Back at the camp, the Mighty-Spirit God went straight to see the Pagoda Bearer Devaraja. Huffing and puffing, he knelt down 
saying, “The BanHorsePlague indeed has great magic powers! Your unworthy warrior cannot prevail against him. Defeated, I have 
come to beg your pardon.” “This fellow has blunted our will to fight,” said Devaraja Li angrily. “Take him out and have him 
executed!” From the side came Prince Nata, who said, bowing deeply, “Let your anger subside, Father King, and pardon for the 
moment the guilt of Mighty-Spirit. Permit your child to go into battle once, and we shall know the long and short of the matter.” The 
Devaraja heeded the admonition and ordered Mighty-Spirit to go back to his camp and await trial. 

This Prince Nata, properly armed, leaped from his camp and dashed to the Water-Curtain Cave. Wukong was just dismissing his 
troops when he saw Nata approaching fiercely. Dear Prince! 

vo boyish tufts barely cover his skull. 

Is flowing hair has yet to reach the shoulders, 
rare mind, alert and intelligent, 
noble frame, pure and elegant. 

? is indeed the unicorn son from Heaven above, 
uly immortal as the phoenix of mist and smoke, 
lis seed of dragon has by nature uncommon features. 

Is tender age shows no relation to any worldly kin. 

? carries on his body six kinds of magic weapons. 

? flies, he leaps; he can change without restriction. 

yw by the golden-mouth proclamation of the Jade Emperor 

? is appointed to the Assembly: its name, the Three Platforms^ 

Wukong drew near and asked, “Whose little brother are you, and what do you want, barging through my gate?” “Lawless monstrous 
monkey!” shouted Nata. “Don’t you recognize me? I am Nata, third son of the Pagoda Bearer Devaraja. I am under the imperial 
commission of the Jade Emperor to come and arrest you.” “Little prince,” said Wukong laughing, “your baby teeth haven’t even fallen 
out, and your natal hair is still damp! How dare you talk so big? I’m going to spare your life, and I won’t fight you. Just take a look at 
the words on my banner and report them to the Jade Emperor above. Grant me this title, and you won’t need to stir your forces. I will 
submit on my own. If you don’t satisfy my cravings, I will surely fight my way up to the Treasure Hall of Divine Mists.” 

Lifting his head to look, Nata saw the words, “Great Sage, Equal to Heaven.” “What great power does this monstrous monkey 
possess,” said Nata, “that he dares claim such a title? Fear not! Swallow my sword.” “I’ll just stand here quietly,” said Wukong, “and 
you can take a few hacks at me with your sword.” Young Nata grew angry. “Change!” he yelled loudly, and he changed at once into a 
fearsome person having three heads and six arms. In his hands he held six kinds of weapons: a monster-stabbing sword, a monster- 

cleaving scimitar, a monster-binding rope, a monster-taming club, an embroidered bail, and a fiery wheel. Brandishing these weapons, 
he mounted a frontal attack. “This little brother does know a few tricks!” said Wukong, somewhat alarmed by what he saw. “But don’t 
be rash. Watch my magic!” Dear Great Sage! He shouted, “Change!” and he too transformed himself into a creature with three heads 
and six arms. One wave of the golden-hooped rod and it became three staffs, which were held with six hands. The conflict was truly 
earth-shaking and made the very mountains tremble. What a battle! 

ie six-armed Prince Nata. 

te Heaven-born Handsome Stone Monkey King. 

eeting, each met his match 

id found each to be from the same source. 

ne was consigned to come down to Earth. 

ie other in guile disturbed the universe. 

ie edge of the monster-stabbing sword was quick; 

i e keen, monster-cleaving scimitar alarmed demons and gods; 

ie monster-binding rope was like a flying snake; 

1 e monster-taming club was like the head of a wolf; 

ie lightning-propelled fiery wheel was like darting flames; 

ither and thither the embroidered ball rotated. 

ie three compliant rods of the Great Sage 

•otected the front and guarded the rear with care and skill. 

few rounds of bitter contest revealed no victor, 

it the prince's mind would not so easily rest. 

? ordered the six kinds of weapon to change 

to hundreds and thousands of millions, aiming for the head. 

ie Monkey King, undaunted, roared with laughter loud, 

id wielded his iron rod with artful ease: 

ne turned to a thousand, a thousand to ten thousand, 

lling the sky as a swarm of dancing dragons, 

id shocked the Monster Kings of sundry caves into shutting their doors, 
zmons and monsters all over the mountain hid their heads, 
ie angry breath of divine soldiers was like oppressive clouds, 
ie golden-hooped iron rod whizzed like the wind, 
n this side, 

le battle cries of celestial fighters appalled every one; 
n that side, 

ie banner-waving of monkey monsters startled each person. 

‘•owing fierce, the two parties both willed a test of strength. 

2 know not who was stronger and who weaker. 

Each displaying his divine powers, the Third Prince and Wukong battled for thirty rounds. The six weapons of that prince changed 
into a thousand and ten thousand pieces; the golden-hooped rod of Sun Wukong into ten thousand and a thousand. They clashed like 
raindrops and meteors in the air, but victory or defeat was not yet detennined. Wukong, however, proved to be the one swifter of eye 
and hand. Right in the midst of the confusion, he plucked a piece of hair and shouted, “Change!” It changed into a copy of him, also 
wielding a rod in its hands and deceiving Nata. His real person leaped behind Nata and struck his left shoulder with the rod. Nata, still 
performing his magic, heard the rod whizzing through the air and tried desperately to dodge it. Unable to move quickly enough, he 
took the blow and fled in pain. Breaking off his magic and gathering up his six weapons, he returned to his camp in defeat. 

Standing in front of his battle line, Devaraja Li saw what was happening and was about to go to his son’s assistance. The prince, 
however, came to him first and gasped, “Father King! The BanHorsePlague is truly powerful. Even your son of such magical strength 
is no match for him! He has wounded me in the shoulder.” “If this fellow is so powerful,” said the Devaraja, turning pale with fright, 
“how can we beat him?” The prince said, “In front of his cave he has set up a banner bearing the words, ‘The Great Sage, Equal to 
Heaven.’ By his own mouth he boastfully asserted that if the Jade Emperor appointed him to such a title, all troubles would cease. If he 
were not given this name, he would surely fight his way up to the Treasure Hall of Divine Mists!” “If that’s the case,” said the 
Devaraja, “let’s not fight with him for the moment. Let us return to the region above and report these words. There will be time then 
for us to send for more celestial soldiers and take this fellow on all sides.” The prince was in such pain that he could not do battle 
again; he therefore went back to Heaven with the Devaraja to report, of which we speak no further. 

Look at that Monkey King returning to his mountain in triumph! The monster kings of seventy-two caves and the six sworn brothers 
all came to congratulate him, and they feasted jubilantly in the blessed cave dwelling. 

He then said to the six brothers, “If little brother is now called the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, why don’t all of you assume the title 
of Great Sage also?” “Our worthy brother’s words are right!” shouted the Bull Monster King from their midst , 11 “I’m going to be called 
the Great Sage, Parallel with Heaven.” “I shall be called the Great Sage, Covering the Ocean,” said the Dragon Monster King. “I shall 
be called the Great Sage, United with Heaven,” said the Garuda Monster King. “I shall be called the Great Sage, Mover of Mountains,” 
said the Giant Lynx King. “I shall be called the Telltale Great Sage,” said the Macaque King. “And I shall be called the God-Routing 
Great Sage,” said the Orangutan King. At that moment, the seven Great Sages had complete freedom to do as they pleased and to call 
themselves whatever titles they liked. They had fun for a whole day and then dispersed. 

Now we return to the Devaraja Li and the Third Prince, who, leading the other commanders, went straight to the Treasure Hall of 
Divine Mists to give this report: “By your holy decree your subjects led the expeditionary force down to the Region Below to subdue 
the baneful immortal, Sun Wukong. We had no idea of his enormous power, and we could not prevail against hint. We beseech Your 
Majesty to give us reinforcements to wipe him out.” “How powerful can we expect one baneful monkey to be,” asked the Jade 
Emperor, “that reinforcements are needed?” “May Your Majesty pardon us from an offense worthy of death!” said the prince, drawing 
closer. “That baneful monkey wielded an iron rod; he defeated first the Mighty-Spirit God and then wounded the shoulder of your 
subject. Outside the door of his cave he set up a banner bearing the words, ‘The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven.’ He said that if he were 
given such a rank, he would lay down his arms and come to declare his allegiance. If not, he would fight his way up to the Treasure 
Hall of Divine Mists.” 

“How dare this baneful monkey be so insolent!” exclaimed the Jade Emperor, astonished by what he had heard. “We must order the 
generals to have him executed at once!” As he said this, the Gold Star of Venus came forward again from the ranks and said, “The 
baneful monkey knows how to make a speech, but he has no idea what’s appropriate and what isn’t. Even if reinforcements are sent to 

fight him, I don’t think he can be subdued right away without taxing our forces. It would be better if Your Majesty were greatly to 
extend your mercy and proclaim yet another decree of pacification. Let him indeed be made the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven; he will 
be given an empty title, in short, rank without compensation.” “What do you mean by rank without compensation?” said the Jade 
Emperor. The Gold Star said, “His name will be Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, but he will not be given any official duty or salary. We 
shall keep him here in Heaven so that we may put his perverse mind at rest and make him desist from his madness and arrogance. The 
universe will then be calm and the oceans tranquil again.” Hearing these words, the Jade Emperor said, “We shall follow the counsels 
of our minister.” He ordered the mandate to be made up and the Gold Star to bear it hence. 

The Gold Star left through the South Heaven Gate once again and headed straight for the Flower-Fruit Mountain. Outside the Water- 
Curtain Cave things were quite different from the way they had been the previous time. He found the entire region filled with the 
awesome and bellicose presence of every conceivable kind of monster, each one of them clutching swords and spears, wielding 
scimitars and staffs. Growling and leaping about, they began to attack the Gold Star the moment they saw him. “You, chieftains, hear 
me,” said the Gold Star, “let me trouble you to report this to your Great Sage. I am the Heavenly messenger sent by the Lord above, 
and I bear an imperial decree of invitation.” The various monsters ran inside to report, “There is an old man outside who says that he is 
a Heavenly messenger from the region above, bearing a decree of invitation for you.” “Welcome! Welcome!” said Wukong. “He must 
be that Gold Star of Venus who came here last time. Although it was a shabby position they gave me when he invited me up to the 
region above, I nevertheless made it to Heaven once and familiarized myself with the ins and outs of the celestial passages. He has 
come again this time undoubtedly with good intentions.” He commanded the various chieftains to wave the banners and beat the 
drums, and to draw up the troops in receiving order. Leading the rest of the monkeys, the Great Sage donned his cap and his cuirass, 
over which he tossed the red and yellow robe, and slipped on the cloud shoes. He ran to the mouth of the cave, bowed courteously, and 
said in a loud voice, “Please come in, Old Star! Forgive me for not coming out to meet you.” 

The Gold Star strode forward and entered the cave. He stood facing south and declared, “Now I inform the Great Sage. Because the 
Great Sage has objected to the meanness of his previous appointment and removed himself from the imperial stables, the officials of 
that department, both great and small, reported the matter to the Jade Emperor. The proclamation of the Jade Emperor said at first, ‘All 
appointed officials advance from lowly positions to exalted ones. Why should he object to that arrangement?’ This led to the campaign 
against you by Devaraja Li and Nata. They were ignorant of the Great Sage’s power and therefore suffered defeat. They reported back 
to Heaven that you had set up a banner that made known your desire to be the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven. The various martial 
officials still wanted to deny your request. It was this old man who, risking offense, pleaded the case of the Great Sage, so that he 
might be invited to receive a new appointment, and without the use of force. The Jade Emperor accepted my suggestion; hence I am 
here to invite you.” “I caused you trouble last time,” said Wukong, laughing, “and now I ant again indebted to you for your kindness. 
Thank you! Thank you! But is there really such a rank as the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, up there?” “I made certain that this title was 
approved,” said the Gold Star, “before I dared come with the decree. If there is any mishap, let this old man be held responsible.” 

Wukong was highly pleased, but the Gold Star refused his earnest invitation to stay for a banquet. He therefore mounted the 
hallowed cloud with the Gold Star and went to the South Heaven Gate, where they were welcomed by the celestial generals and 
guardians with hands folded at their breasts. Going straight into the Treasure Hall of Divine Mists, the Gold Star prostrated himself and 
memorialized, “Your subject, by your decree, has summoned here BanHorsePlague Sun Wukong.” “Have that Sun Wukong come 
forward,” said the Jade Emperor. “I now proclaim you to be the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, a position of the highest rank. But you 
must indulge no more in your preposterous behavior.” Bowing deeply, the monkey uttered a great whoop of thanks. The Jade Emperor 
then ordered two building officials, Zhang and Lu, to erect the official residence of the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, to the right of the 
Garden of Immortal Peaches. Inside the mansion, two departments were established, named “Peace and Quiet” and “Serene Spirit,” 
both of which were full of attending officials. The Jade Emperor also ordered the Star Spirits of Five Poles 12 to accompany Wukong to 
assume his post. In addition, two bottles of imperial wine and ten clusters of golden flowers were bestowed on him, with the order that 
he must keep himself under control and make up his mind to indulge no more in preposterous behavior. The Monkey King obediently 
accepted the command and went that day with the Star Spirits to assume his post. He opened the bottles of wine and drank them all 
with his colleagues. After seeing the Star Spirits off to their own palaces, he settled down in complete contentment and delight to enjoy 
the pleasures of Heaven, without the slightest worry or care. Truly 

Is name divine, forever recorded in the Long-Life Book 
id kept from falling into samsara, will long be known. 


Disrupting the Peach Festival, the Great Sage steals elixir; 

With revolt in Heaven, many gods would seize the fiend. 

Now we must tell you that the Great Sage, after all, was a monkey monster; in truth, he had no knowledge of his title or rank, nor did 
he care for the size of his salary. He did nothing but place his name on the Register. At his official residence he was cared for night and 
day by the attending officials of the two departments. His sole concern was to eat three meals a day and to sleep soundly at night. 
Having neither duties nor worries, he was free and content to tour the mansions and meet friends, to make new acquaintances and form 
new alliances at his leisure. When he met the Three Pure Ones , 1 he addressed them as “Your Reverence”; and when he ran into the 
Four Thearchs , 7 he would say, “Your Majesty.” As for the Nine Luminaries,' the Generals of the Five Quarters, the Twenty-Eight 
Constellations , 4 the Four Devarajas , 3 the Twelve Horary Branches , 6 the Five Elders of the Five Regions , 7 the Star Spirits of the entire 
Heaven, and the numerous gods of the Milky Way, s he called them all brother and treated them in a fraternal manner. Today he toured 
the east, and tomorrow he wandered west. Going and coming on the clouds, he had no specific itinerary. 

Early one morning, when the Jade Emperor was holding court, the Daoist immortal Xu Jingyang 9 stepped from the ranks and went 
forward to memorialize, kowtowing, “The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, has no duties at present and merely dawdles away his time. 
He has become quite chummy with the various Stars and Constellations of Heaven, calling them his friends regardless of whether they 
are his superiors or subordinates, and I fear that his idleness may lead to roguery. It would be better to give him some assignment so 
that he will not grow mischievous.” When the Jade Emperor heard these words, he sent for the Monkey King at once, who came 
amiably. “Your Majesty,” he said, “what promotion or reward did you have in mind for old Monkey when you called him?” “We 
perceive,” said the Jade Emperor, “that your life is quite indolent, since you have nothing to do, and we have decided therefore to give 
you an assignment. You will temporarily take care of the Garden of Immortal Peaches. Be careful and diligent, morning and evening.” 
Delighted, the Great Sage bowed deeply and grunted his gratitude as he withdrew. 

He could not restrain himself from rushing immediately into the Garden of Immortal Peaches to inspect the place. A local spirit from 
the garden stopped him and asked, “Where is the Great Sage going?” “I have been authorized by the Jade Emperor,” said the Great 
Sage, “to look after the Garden of Immortal Peaches. I have come to conduct an inspection.” The local spirit hurriedly saluted him and 
then called together all the stewards in charge of hoeing, watering, tending peaches, and cleaning and sweeping. They all came to 
kowtow to the Great Sage and led him inside. There he saw 

idiantly young and lovely, 
n every trunk and limb — 

idiantly young and lovely blossoms filling the trees, 
id fruits on every trunk and limb weighing down the stems, 
le fruits, weighing down the stems, hang like balls of gilt: 
i e blossoms, filling the trees, form tufts of rouge. 

>er they bloom, and ever fruit-bearing, they ripen in a thousand years; 

it knowing winter or summer, they lengthen out to ten thousand years. 

lose that first ripen glow like faces reddened with wine, 

hile those half-grown ones 

•e stalk-held and green-skinned. 

leased in smoke their flesh retains their green, 

it sunlight reveals their cinnabar grace. 

meath the trees are rare flowers and exotic grass 

hich colors, unfading in four seasons, remain the same. 

i e towers, the terraces, and the studios left and right 

se so high into the air that often cloud covers are seen. 

)t planted by the vulgar or the worldly of the Dark City, 

ley are grown and tended by the Queen Mother of the Jade Pool. ^ ® 

The Great Sage enjoyed this sight for a long time and then asked the local spirit, “How many trees are there?” “There are three 
thousand six hundred,” said the local spirit. “In the front are one thousand two hundred trees with little flowers and small fruits. These 
ripen once every three thousand years, and after one taste of them a man will become an immortal enlightened in the Way, with healthy 
limbs and a lightweight body. In the middle are one thousand two hundred trees of layered flowers and sweet fruits. They ripen once 
every six thousand years. If a man eats them, he will ascend to Heaven with the mist and never grow old. At the back are one thousand 
two hundred trees with fruits of purple veins and pale yellow pits. These ripen once every nine thousand years and, if eaten, will make 
a man’s age equal to that of Heaven and Earth, the sun and the moon.” Highly pleased by these words, the Great Sage that very day 
made thorough inspection of the trees and a listing of the arbors and pavilions before returning to his residence. From then on, he 
would go there to enjoy the scenery once every three or four days. He no longer consorted with his friends, nor did he take any more 

One day he saw that more than half of the peaches on the branches of the older trees had ripened, and he wanted very much to eat 
one and sample its novel taste. Closely followed, however, by the local spirit of the garden, the stewards, and the divine attendants of 
the Equal to Heaven Residence, he found it inconvenient to do so. He therefore devised a plan on the spur of the moment and said to 
them, “Why don’t you all wait for me outside and let me rest a while in this arbor?” The various immortals withdrew accordingly. That 
Monkey King then took off his cap and robe and climbed up onto a big tree. He selected the large peaches that were thoroughly 
ripened and, plucking many of them, ate to his heart’s content right on the branches. Only after he had his fill did he jump down from 
the tree. Pinning back his cap and donning his robe, he called for his train of followers to return to the residence. After two or three 
days, he used the same device to steal peaches to gratify himself once again. 

One day the Lady Queen Mother decided to open wide her treasure chamber and to give a banquet for the Grand Festival of 
Immortal Peaches, which was to be held in the Palace of the Jasper Pool. She ordered the various Immortal Maidens—Red Gown, Blue 
Gown, White Gown, Black Gown, Purple Gown, Yellow Gown, and Green Gown—to go with their flower baskets to the Garden of 

Immortal Peaches and pick the fruits for the festival. The seven maidens went to the gate of the garden and found it guarded by the 
local spirit, the stewards, and the ministers from the two departments of the Equal to Heaven Residence. The girls approached them, 
saying, “We have been ordered by the Queen Mother to pick some peaches for our banquet.” “Divine maidens,” said the local spirit, 
“please wait a moment. This year is not quite the same as last year. The Jade Emperor has put in charge here the Great Sage, Equal to 
Heaven, and we must report to him before we are allowed to open the gate.” “Where is the Great Sage?” asked the maidens. “He is in 
the garden,” said the local spirit. “Because he is tired, he is sleeping alone in the arbor.” “If that’s the case,” said the maidens, “let us go 
and find him, for we cannot be late.” The local spirit went into the garden with them; they found their way to the arbor but saw no one. 
Only the cap and the robe were left in the arbor, but there was no person to be seen. The Great Sage, you see, had played for a while 
and eaten a number of peaches. He had then changed himself into a figure only two inches high and, perching on the branch of a large 
tree, had fallen asleep under the cover of thick leaves. “Since we came by imperial decree,” said the Seven-Gown Immortal Maidens, 
“how can we return empty-handed, even though we cannot locate the Great Sage?” One of the divine officials said from the side, 
“Since the divine maidens have come by decree, they should wait no longer. Our Great Sage has a habit of wandering off somewhere, 
and he must have left the garden to meet his friends. Go and pick your peaches now, and we shall report the matter for you.” The 
Immortal Maidens followed his suggestion and went into the grove to pick their peaches. 

They gathered two basketfuls from the trees in front and filled three more baskets from the trees in the middle. When they went to 
the trees at the back of the grove, they found that the flowers were sparse and the fruits scanty. Only a few peaches with hairy stems 
and green skins were left, for the fact is that the Monkey King had eaten all the ripe ones. Looking this way and that, the Seven 
Immortal Maidens found on a branch pointing southward one single peach that was half white and half red. The Blue Gown Maiden 
pulled the branch down with her hand, and the Red Gown Maiden, after plucking the fruit, let the branch snap back up into its position. 
This was the very branch on which the transformed Great Sage was sleeping. Startled by her, the Great Sage revealed his true form and 
whipped out from his ear the golden-hooped rod. One wave and it had the thickness of a rice bowl. “From what region have you come, 
monsters,” he cried, “that you have the gall to steal my peaches?” Terrified, the Seven Immortal Maidens knelt down together and 
pleaded, “Let the Great Sage calm himself! We are not monsters, but the Seven-Gown Immortal Maidens sent by the Lady Queen 
Mother to pluck the fruits needed for the Grand Festival of Immortal Peaches, when the treasure chamber is opened wide. We just 
came here and first saw the local spirit of the garden, who could not find the Great Sage. Fearing that we might be delayed in fulfilling 
the command of the Queen Mother, we did not wait for the Great Sage but proceeded to pluck the peaches. We beg you to forgive us.” 

When the Great Sage heard these words, his anger changed to delight. “Please arise, divine maidens,” he said. “Who is invited to the 
banquet when the Queen Mother opens wide her treasure chamber?” “The last festival had its own set of rules,” said the Immortal 
Maidens, “and those invited were: the Buddha, the Bodhisattvas, the holy monks, and the arhats of the Western Heaven; Kuan-yin 
from the South Pole; the Holy Emperor of Great Mercy of the East; the Immortals of Ten Continents and Three Islands; the Dark Spirit 
of the North Pole; the Great Immortal of the Yellow Horn from the Imperial Center. These were the Elders from the Five Quarters. In 
addition, there were the Star Spirits of the Five Poles, the Three Pure Ones, the Four Deva Kings, the Heavenly Deva of the Great 
Monad, and the rest from the Upper Eight Caves. From the Middle Eight Caves there were the Jade Emperor, the Nine Heroes, the 
Immortals of the Seas and Mountains; and from the Lower Eight Caves, there were the Pope of Darkness and the Terrestrial Immortals. 
The gods and devas, both great and small, of every palace and mansion, will be attending this happy Festival of the Immortal Peaches.” 

“Am I invited?” asked the Great Sage, laughing. “We haven’t heard your name mentioned,” said the Immortal Maidens. “I am the 
Great Sage, Equal to Heaven,” said the Great Sage. “Why shouldn’t I, old Monkey, be made an honored guest at the party?” “Well, we 
told you the rule for the last festival,” said the Immortal Maidens, “but we do not know what will happen this time.” “You are right,” 
said the Great Sage, “and I don’t blame you. You all just stand here and let old Monkey go and do a little detection to find out whether 
he’s invited or not.” 

Dear Great Sage! He made a magic sign and recited a spell, saying to the various Immortal Maidens, “Stay! Stay! Stay!” This was 
the magic of immobilization, the effect of which was that the Seven-Gown Immortal Maidens all stood wide-eyed and transfixed 
beneath the peach trees. Leaping out of the garden, the Great Sage mounted his hallowed cloud and headed straight for the Jasper Pool. 
As he journeyed, he saw over there 

skyful of holy mist with sparkling light, 
id five-colored clouds passing ceaselessly. * ^ 
le cries of white cranes pierced the ninefold Heav 'n; 
trple fungi bloomed through a thousand leaves, 
ght in this midst an immortal appeared 
ith a natural, fair face and manner distinct, 
is spirit glowed like a dancing rainbow; 
list of no birth or death hung from his waist. 

•s name, the Great Immortal of Naked Feet . ^ 
tending the Peaches Feast he’d lengthen his age. 

That Great Immortal of Naked Feet ran right into the Great Sage, who, his head bowed, was just devising a plan to deceive the real 
immortal. Since he wanted to go in secret to the festival, he asked, “Where is the Venerable Wisdom going?” The Great Immortal said, 
“On the kind invitation of the Queen Mother, I am going to the happy Festival of Immortal Peaches.” “The Venerable Wisdom has not 
yet learned of what I’m about to say,” said the Great Sage. “Because of the speed of my cloud somersault, the Jade Emperor has sent 
old Monkey out to all five thoroughfares to invite people to go first to the Hall of Perfect Light for a rehearsal of ceremonies before 
attending the banquet.” Being a sincere and honest man, the Great Immortal took the lie for the truth, though he protested, "In years 
past we rehearsed right at the Jasper Pool and expressed our gratitude there. Why do we have to go to the Hall of Perfect Light for 
rehearsal this time before attending the banquet?” Nonetheless, he had no choice but to change the direction of his hallowed cloud and 
go straight to the hall. 

Treading the cloud, the Great Sage recited a spell and, with one shake of his body, changed into the form of the Great Immortal of 
Naked Feet. It did not take him very long before he reached the treasure chamber. He stopped his cloud and walked softly inside. There 
he found 

virling waves of ambrosial fragrance, 
znse layers of holy mist, 
jade terrace decked with ornaments, 
chamber full of the life force, 

hereal shapes of the phoenix soaring and the argus rising, 

id undulant forms of gold blossoms with stems of jade. 

t upon there were the Screen of Nine Phoenixes in Twilight, 

te Beacon Mound of Eight Treasures and Purple Mist, 

table inlaid with five-color gold, 

id a green jade pot of a thousand flowers. 

n the tables were dragon livers and phoenix marrow, 

>ar paws and the lips of apes .' ^ 

ost tempting was every one of the hundred delicacies, 

id most succulent the hue of every kind offruit and food. 

Everything was laid out in an orderly fashion, but no deity had yet arrived for the feast. Our Great Sage could not make an end of 
staring at the scene when he suddenly felt the overpowering aroma of wine. Turning his head, he saw, in the long corridor to the right, 
several wine-making divine officials and grain-mashing stewards. They were giving directions to the few Daoists charged with 
carrying water and the boys who took care of the fire in washing out the barrels and scrubbing the jugs. For they had already finished 
making the wine, rich and mellow as the juices of jade. The Great Sage could not prevent the saliva from dripping out of the comer of 
his mouth, and he wanted to have a taste at once, except that the people were all standing there. He therefore resorted to magic. 
Plucking a few hairs, he threw them into his mouth and chewed them to pieces before spitting them out. He recited a spell and cried 
“Change!” They changed into many sleep-inducing insects, which landed on the people’s faces. Look at them, how their hands grow 
weak, their heads droop, and their eyelids sink down. They dropped their activities, and all fell sound asleep. The Great Sage then took 
some of the rare delicacies and choicest dainties and ran into the corridor. Standing beside the jars and leaning on the barrels, he 
abandoned himself to drinking. After feasting for a long time, he became thoroughly drunk, but he turned this over in his mind, “Bad! 
Bad! In a little while, when the invited guests arrive, won’t they be indignant with me? What will happen to me once I’m caught? I’d 
better go back home now and sleep it off!” 

Dear Great Sage! Reeling from side to side, he stumbled along solely on the strength of wine, and in a moment he lost his way. It 
was not the Equal to Heaven Residence that he went to, but the Tushita Palace. The moment he saw it, he realized his mistake. “The 
Tushita Palace is at the uppermost of the thirty-three Heavens,” he said, “the Griefless Heaven, which is the home of the Most High 
Laozi. How did I get here? No matter. I’ve always wanted to see this old man but have never found the opportunity. Now that it’s on 
my way, I might as well pay him a visit.” He straightened out his attire and pushed his way in, but Laozi was nowhere to be seen. In 
fact, there was not a trace of anyone. The fact of the matter was that Laozi, accompanied by the Aged Buddha DTpamkara, was giving a 
lecture on the tall, three-storied Red Mound Elixir Platform. The various divine youths, commanders, and officials were all attending 
the lecture, standing on both sides of the platfonn. Searching around, our Great Sage went all the way to the alchemical room. He 
found no one but saw fire burning in an oven beside the hearth, and around the oven were five gourds in which finished elixir was 
stored. “This thing is the greatest treasure of immortals,” said the Great Sage happily. “Since old Monkey has understood the Way and 
comprehended the mystery of the Internal’s identity with the External, I have also wanted to produce some golden elixir on my own to 
benefit people. While I have been too busy at other times even to think about going home to enjoy myself, good fortune has met me at 
the door today and presented me with this! As long as Laozi is not around. I’ll take a few tablets and try the taste of something new.” 
He poured out the contents of all the gourds and ate them like fried beans. 

In a moment, the effect of the elixir had dispelled that of the wine, and he again thought to himself, “Bad! Bad! I have brought on 
myself calamity greater than Heaven! If the Jade Emperor has knowledge of this, it’ll be difficult to preserve my life! Go! Go! Go! I’ll 
go back to the Region Below to be a king.” He ran out of the Tushita Palace and, avoiding the former way, left by the West Heaven 
Gate, making himself invisible by the magic of body concealment. Lowering the direction of his cloud, he returned to the Flower-Fruit 
Mountain. There he was greeted by flashing banners and shining spears, for the four mighty commanders and the monster kings of 
seventy-two caves were engaging in a military exercise. “Little ones,” the Great Sage called out loudly, “I have returned!” The 
monsters dropped their weapons and knelt down, saying, “Great Sage! What laxity of mind! You left us for so long, and did not even 
once visit us to see how we were doing.” “It’s not that long!” said the Great Sage. “It’s not that long!” They walked as they talked, and 
went deep inside the cave dwelling. After sweeping the place clean and preparing a place for him to rest, and after kowtowing and 
doing homage, the four mighty commanders said, “The Great Sage has been living for over a century in Heaven. May we ask what 
appointment he actually received?” 

“I recall that it’s been but half a year,” said the Great Sage, laughing. “How can you talk of a century?” “One day in Heaven,” said 
the commanders, “is equal to one year on Earth.” The Great Sage said, “I am glad to say that the Jade Emperor this time was more 
favorably disposed toward me, and he did indeed appoint me Great Sage, Equal to Heaven. An official residence was built for me, and 
two departments—Peace and Quiet, and Serene Spirit—were established, with bodyguards and attendants in each department. Later, 
when it was found that 1 carried no responsibility, I was asked to take care of the Garden of Immortal Peaches. Recently the Lady 
Queen Mother gave the Grand Festival of Immortal Peaches, but she did not invite me. Without waiting for her invitation, I went first 
to the Jasper Pool and secretly consumed the food and wine. Leaving that place, I staggered into the palace of Laozi and finished up all 
the elixir stored in five gourds. I was afraid that the Jade Emperor would be offended, and so I decided to walk out of the Heaven 

The various monsters were delighted by these words, and they prepared a banquet of fruits and wine to welcome him. A stone bowl 
was filled with coconut wine and presented to the Great Sage, who took a mouthful and then exclaimed with a grimace, “It tastes 
awful! Just awful!” “The Great Sage,” said Beng and Ba, the two commanders, “has grown accustomed to tasting divine wine and food 
in Heaven. Small wonder that coconut wine now seems hardly delectable. But the proverb says, ‘Tasty or not, it’s water from home!’” 
“And all of you are, ‘related or not, people from home’!” said the Great Sage. “When I was enjoying myself this morning at the Jasper 
Pool, I saw many jars and jugs in the corridor full of the juices of jade, which you have never savored. Let me go back and steal a few 
bottles to bring down here. Just drink half a cup, and each one of you will live long without growing old.” The various monkeys could 

not contain their delight. The Great Sage immediately left the cave and, with one somersault, went directly back to the Festival of 
Immortal Peaches, again using the magic of body concealment. As he entered the doorway of the Palace of the Jasper Pool, he saw that 
the wine makers, the grain mashers, the water carriers, and the fire tenders were still asleep and snoring. He took two large bottles, one 
under each arm, and carried two more in his hands. Reversing the direction of his cloud, he returned to the monkeys in the cave. They 
held their own Festival of Immortal Wine, with each one drinking a few cups, which incident we shall relate no further. 

Now we tell you about the Seven-Gown Immortal Maidens, who did not find a release from the Great Sage’s magic of 
immobilization until a whole day had gone by. Each one of them then took her flower basket and reported to the Queen Mother, saying, 
“We are delayed because the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, imprisoned us with his magic.” “How many baskets of immortal peaches 
have you gathered?” asked the Queen Mother. “Only two baskets of small peaches, and three of medium-sized peaches,” said the 
Immortal Maidens, “for when we went to the back of the grove, there was not even half a large one left! We think the Great Sage must 
have eaten them all. As we went looking for him, he unexpectedly made his appearance and threatened us with violence and beating. 
He also questioned us about who had been invited to the banquet, and we gave him a thorough account of the last festival. It was then 
that he bound us with a spell, and we didn’t know where he went. It was only a moment ago that we found release and so could come 
back here.” 

When the Queen Mother heard these words, she went immediately to the Jade Emperor and presented him with a full account of 
what had taken place. Before she finished speaking, the group of wine makers together with the various divine officials also came to 
report: “Someone unknown to us has vandalized the Festival of Immortal Peaches. The juice of jade, the eight dainties, and the 
hundred delicacies have all been stolen or eaten up.” Four royal preceptors then came up to announce, “The Supreme Patriarch of Dao 
has arrived.” The Jade Emperor went out with the Queen Mother to greet him. Having paid his respects to them, Laozi said, “There 
are, in the house of this old Daoist, some finished Golden Elixir of Nine Turns, 14 which are reserved for the use of Your Majesty during 
the next Grand Festival of Cinnabar. Strange to say, they have been stolen by some thief, and I have come specifically to make this 
known to Your Majesty.” This report stunned the Jade Emperor. Presently the officials from the Equal to Heaven Residence came to 
announce, kowtowing, “The Great Sage Sun has not been discharging his duties of late. He went out yesterday and still has not yet 
returned. Moreover, we do not know where he went.” These words gave the Jade Emperor added anxiety. 

Next came the Great Immortal of Naked Feet, who prostrated himself and said, “Yesterday, in response to the Queen Mother’s 
invitation, your subject was on his way to attend the festival when he met by chance the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven. The Sage said to 
your subject that Your Majesty had ordered him to send your subject first to the Hall of Perfect Light for a rehearsal of ceremonies 
before attending the banquet. Your subject followed his direction and duly went to the hall. But I did not see the dragon chariot and the 
phoenix carriage of Your Majesty, and therefore hastened to come here to wait upon you.” 

More astounded than ever, the Jade Emperor said, “This fellow now falsifies imperial decrees and deceives my worthy ministers! 
Let the Divine Minister of Detection quickly locate his whereabouts!” The minister received his order and left the palace to make a 
thorough investigation. After obtaining all the details, he returned presently to report, “The person who has so profoundly disturbed 
Heaven is none other than the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven.” He then gave a repeated account of all the previous incidents, and the 
Jade Emperor was furious. He at once commanded the Four Great Devarajas to assist Devaraja Li and Prince Nata. Together, they 
called up the Twenty-Eight Constellations, the Nine Luminaries, the Twelve Horary Branches, the Fearless Guards of Five Quarters, 1 ' 
the Four Temporal Guardians, 111 the Stars of East and West, the Gods of North and South, the Deities of the Five Mountains and the 
Four Rivers, 1 the Star Spirits of the entire Heaven, and a hundred thousand celestial soldiers. They were ordered to set up eighteen sets 
of cosmic net, to journey to the Region Below, to encircle completely the Flower-Fruit Mountain, and to capture the rogue and bring 
him to justice. All the deities immediately alerted their troops and departed from the Heavenly Palace. As they left, this was the 
spectacle of the expedition: 

How with dust; the churning wind concealed the darkening sky: 

'ddish with clay, the rising fog o 'erlaid the dusky world. 

icause an impish monkey insulted the Highest Lord, 

le saints of all Heaven descended to this mortal Earth. 

lose Four Great Devarajas, 

lose Fearless Guards of Five Quarters — 

lose Four Great Deva Kings made up the main command; 

lose Fearless Guards of Five Quarters moved countless troops. 

, the Pagoda Bearer, gave orders from the army's center, 
ith the fierce Nata as the captain of his vanward forces, 
le Star of Rdhu, at the forefront, made the roll call; 
le Star of Ketu, noble and tall, brought up the rear: 

<ma, the moon, displayed a spirit most eager; 
iitya, the sun, was all shining and radiant. 

°.roes of special talents were the Stars of Five Phases, 
le Nine Luminaries most relished a good battle, 
te Horary Branches of Zi, Wu, Mao, and Yao — 
ley were all celestial guardians of titanic strength. 

• the east and west, the Five Plagues ^ ^ and the Five Mountains! 

• the left and right, the Six Gods of Darkness and the Six Gods of Light! 
iove and below, the Dragon Gods of the Four Rivers! 

id in tightest formation, the Twenty-Eight Constellations 
tra, SvatT, Visakha, and Anuradhd were the captains. 

’.vatT, AsvinT, Apabharam, and Krttika knew combat well. 

'tara-Asadha, Abhijit, Sravana, Sravistha, Purva-Prosthapada, Uttara-Prosthapada, 

ihinT, Mulabarhani, Purva-Asadhd—every one an able star! 

inarvasu, Tisya, Aslesa, Megha, Purva-Phalgum, Uttara-Phalgum, and Hasta — 

/ brandished swords and spears to show their power. 

opping the cloud and lowering the mist they came to this mortal world 

id pitched their tents before the Mountain of Flower and Fruit. 

The poem says: 

ie Heav 'n-born Monkey King who can change a lot 
eals wine and elixir to joy in his mountain lair. 

nee he spoiled the Feast of the Immortal Peach, 
hundred thousand Heaven troops spread the net of God. 

Devaraja Li now gave the order for the celestial soldiers to pitch their tents, and a cordon was drawn so tightly around the Flower- 
Fruit Mountain that not even water could escape! Moreover, eighteen sets of cosmic net were spread out above and below the region, 
and the Nine Luminaries were then ordered to go into battle. They led their troops and advanced to the cave, in front of which they 
found a troop of monkeys, both great and small, prancing about playfully. “Little monsters over there,” cried one of the Star Spirits in a 
severe voice, “where is your Great Sage? We are Heavenly deities sent here from the Region Above to subdue your rebellious Great 
Sage. Tell him to come here quickly and surrender. If he but utters half a ‘No,’ all of you will be executed.” Hastily the little monsters 
reported inside, “Great Sage, disaster! Disaster! Outside there are nine savage deities who claim that they are sent from the Region 
Above to subdue the Great Sage.” Our Great Sage was just sharing the Heavenly wine with the four mighty commanders and the 
monster kings of seventy-two caves. Hearing this announcement, he said in a most nonchalant manner, 

fyou have wine today, get drunk today; 
ind not the troubles in front of your door!” 

Scarcely had he uttered this proverb when another group of imps came leaping and said, “Those nine savage gods are trying to provoke 
battle with foul words and nasty language.” “Don’t listen to them,” said the Great Sage, laughing. 

\et us seek today’s pleasure in poetry and wine, 
id cease asking when we may achieve glory or fame. ” 

Hardly had he finished speaking when still another flock of imps arrived to report, “Father, those nine savage gods have broken down 
the door, and are about to fight their way in!” 

“These reckless, witless gods!” said the Great Sage angrily. “They really have no manners! I was not about to quarrel with them. 
Why are they abusing me to my face?” He gave the order for the One-Horn Demon King to lead the monster kings of seventy-two 
caves to battle, adding that old Monkey and the four mighty commanders would follow in the rear. The Demon King swiftly led his 
troops of ogres to go out to fight, but they were ambushed by the Nine Luminaries and pinned down right at the head of the sheet iron 

At the height of the melee, the Great Sage arrived. “Make way!” he yelled, whipping out his iron rod. One wave of it and it was as 
thick as a rice bowl and about twelve feet long. The Great Sage plunged into battle, and none of the Nine Luminaries dared oppose 
him. In a moment, they were all beaten back. When they regrouped themselves again in battle formation, the Nine Luminaries stood 
still and said, “You senseless BanHorsePlague! You are guilty of the ten evils. 20 You first stole peaches and then wine, utterly 
disrupting the Grand Festival of Immortal Peaches. You also robbed Laozi of his immortal elixir, and then you had the gall to plunder 
the imperial winery for your personal enjoyment. Don’t you realize that you have piled up sin upon sin?” “Indeed,” said the Great 
Sage, “these several incidents did occur! But what do you intend to do now?” The Nine Luminaries said, “We received the golden 
decree of the Jade Emperor to lead our troops here to subdue you. Submit at once, and spare these creatures from being slaughtered. If 
not, we shall level this mountain and overturn this cave!” “How great is your magical power, silly gods,” retorted the Great Sage 
angrily, “that you dare to mouth such foolhardy words? Don’t go away! Have a taste of old Monkey’s rod!” The Nine Luminaries 
mounted a joint attack, but the Handsome Monkey King was not in the least intimidated. He wielded his golden-hooped rod, parrying 
left and right, and fought the Nine Luminaries until they were thoroughly exhausted. Every one of them turned around and fled, his 
weapons trailing behind him. Running into the tent at the center of their army, they said to the Pagoda Bearer Devaraja, “That Monkey 
King is indeed an intrepid warrior! We cannot withstand him, and have returned defeated.” 

Devaraja Li then ordered the Four Great Devarajas and the Twenty-Eight Constellations to go out together to do battle. Without 
displaying the slightest panic, the Great Sage also ordered the One-Honi Demon King, the monster kings of seventy-two caves, and the 
four mighty commanders to range themselves in battle formation in front of the cave. Look at this all-out battle! It was truly terrifying 

ie cold, soughing wind, 
te dark, dreadful fog. 
n one side, the colorful banners fluttered; 
n the other, lances and halberds glimmered, 
tere were row upon row of shining helmets, 
id coat upon coat of gleaming armor. 

)w upon row of helmets shining in the sunlight 

’.sembled silver bells whose chimes echoed in the sky; 

fat upon coat of gleaming armor rising clifflike in layers 

emed like glaciers crushing the earth. 

ie giant scimitars 

ew and flashed like lightning; 

ie mulberry-white spears, 

mid pierce even mist and cloud! 

ie crosslike halberds 

id tiger-eye lashes 

ere arranged like thick rows of hemp; 
le green swords of bronze 
id four-sided shovels 

•owded together like trees in a dense forest, 
irved bows, crossbows, and stout arrows with eagle plumes, 
tort staffs and snakelike lances—all could kill or maim, 
rnt compliant rod, which the Great Sage owned, 

?pt tossing and turning in this battle with gods, 
ley fought till the air was rid of birds flying by; 
blves and tigers were driven from within the mount; 
ie planet was darkened by hurtling rocks and stones, 
id the cosmos bedimmed by flying dust and dirt, 
ie clamor and clangor disturbed Heaven and Earth; 
i e scrap and scuffle alarmed both demons and gods. 

Beginning with the battle formation at dawn, they fought until the sun sank down behind the western hills. The One-Horn Demon King 

and the monster kings of seventy-two caves were all taken captive by the forces of Heaven. Those who escaped were the four mighty 
commanders and the troop of monkeys, who hid themselves deep inside the Water-Curtain Cave. With his single rod, the Great Sage 
withstood in midair the Four Great Devarajas, Li the Pagoda Bearer, and Prince Nata, and battled with them for a long time. When he 
saw that evening was approaching, the Great Sage plucked a handful of hairs, threw them into his mouth, and chewed them to pieces. 
He spat them out, crying, “Change!” They changed at once into many thousands of Great Sages, each employing a golden-hooped rod! 
They beat back Prince Nata and defeated the Five Devarajas. 

In triumph the Great Sage collected back his hairs and hurried back to his cave. Soon, at the head of the sheet iron bridge, he was 
met by the four mighty commanders leading the rest of the monkeys. As they kowtowed to receive him they cried three times, sobbing 
aloud, and then they laughed three times, hee-heeing and ho-hoing. The Great Sage said, “Why do you all laugh and cry when you see 
me?” “When we fought with the Deva Kings this morning,” said the four mighty commanders, “the monster kings of seventy-two 
caves and the One-Horn Demon King were all taken captive by the gods. We were the only ones who managed to escape alive, and 
that is why we cried. Now we see that the Great Sage has returned unharmed and triumphant, and so we laugh as well.” 

“Victory and defeat,” said the Great Sage, “are the common experiences of a soldier. The ancient proverb says, 

'U may kill ten thousand of your enemies, 
it you will lose three thousand of your allies! 

Moreover, those chieftains who have been captured are tigers and leopards, wolves and insects, badgers and foxes, and the like. Not a 
single member of our own kind has been hurt. Why then should we be disconsolate? Although our adversaries have been beaten back 
by my magic of body division, they are still encamped at the foot of our mountain. Let us be most vigilant, therefore, in our defense. 
Have a good meal, rest well, and conserve your energy. When morning comes, watch me perform a great magic and capture some of 
these generals from Heaven, so that our comrades may be avenged.” The four mighty commanders drank a few bowls of coconut wine 
with the host of monkeys and went to sleep peacefully. We shall speak no more of them. 

When those Four Devarajas retired their troops and stopped their fighting, each one of the Heavenly commanders came to report his 
accomplishment. There were those who had captured lions and elephants and those who had apprehended wolves, crawling creatures, 
and foxes. Not a single monkey monster, however, had been seized. The camp was then secured, a great tent was pitched, and those 
commanders with meritorious services were rewarded. The soldiers in charge of the cosmic nets were ordered to carry bells and were 
given passwords. They encircled the Flower-Fruit Mountain to await the great battle of the next day, and each soldier everywhere 
diligently kept his watch. So this is the situation: 

ie fiendish monkey riots through Heaven and Earth, 
it the net spreads open, ready night and day. 


Guanyin, attending the banquet, inquires into the cause; 

The Little Sage, exerting his power, subdues the Great Sage. 

For the moment we shall not tell you about the siege of the gods or the Great Sage at rest. We speak instead of the Great 
Compassionate Deliverer, the Efficacious Bodhisattva Guanyin from the Potalaka Mountain of the South Sea. 1 Invited by the Lady 
Queen Mother to attend the Grand Festival of Immortal Peaches, she arrived at the treasure chamber of the Jasper Pool with her senior 
disciple, Hui’an. There they found the whole place desolate and the banquet tables in utter disarray. Although several members of the 
Heavenly pantheon were present, none was seated. Instead, they were all engaged in vigorous exchanges and discussions. After the 
Bodhisattva had greeted the various deities, they told her what had occurred. “Since there will be no festival,” said the Bodhisattva, 
“nor any raising of cups, all of you might as well come with this humble cleric to see the Jade Emperor.” The gods followed her gladly, 
and they went to the entrance to the Hall of Perfect Light. There the Bodhisattva was met by the Four Celestial Masters and the 
Immortal of Naked Feet, who recounted how the celestial soldiers, ordered by an enraged Jade Emperor to capture the monster, had not 
yet returned. The Bodhisattva said, “I would like to have an audience with the Jade Emperor. May I trouble one of you to announce my 
arrival?” The Heavenly Preceptor Qiu Hongji went at once into the Treasure Hall of Divine Mists and, having made his report, invited 
Guanyin to enter. Laozi then took the upper seat with the Emperor, while the Lady Queen Mother was in attendance behind the throne. 

The Bodhisattva led the crowd inside. After paying homage to the Jade Emperor, they also saluted Laozi and the Queen Mother. 
When each of them was seated, she asked, “How is the Grand Festival of Immortal Peaches?” “Every year when the festival has been 
given,” said the Jade Emperor, “we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. This year it has been completely ruined by a baneful monkey, 
leaving us with nothing but an invitation to disappointment.” “Where did this baneful monkey come from?” asked the Bodhisattva. 
“He was bom of a stone egg on top of the Flower-Fruit Mountain of the Aolai Country of the East Purvavideha Continent,” said the 
Jade Emperor. “At the moment of his birth, two beams of golden light flashed immediately front his eyes, reaching as far as the Palace 
of the Polestar. We did not think much of that, but he later became a monster, subduing the Dragon and taming the Tiger as well as 
eradicating his name from the Register of Death. When the Dragon Kings and the Kings of the Underworld brought the matter to our 
attention, we wanted to capture him. The Star of Long Life, however, observed that all the beings of the three regions that possessed 
the nine apertures could attain immortality. We therefore decided to educate and nurture the talented monkey and summoned him to the 
Region Above. He was appointed to the post of Bimawen at the imperial stables, but, taking offense at the lowliness of his position, he 
left Heaven in rebellion. We then sent Devaraja Li and Prince Nata to ask for his submission by proclaiming a decree of pacification. 
He was brought again to the Region Above and was appointed the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven—a rank without compensation. Since 
he had nothing to do but to wander east and west, we feared that he might cause further trouble. So he was asked to look after the 
Garden of Immortal Peaches. But he broke the law and ate all the large peaches from the oldest trees. By then, the banquet was about 
to be given. As a person without salary he was, of course, not invited; nonetheless, he plotted to deceive the Immortal of Naked Feet 
and managed to sneak into the banquet by assuming the Immortal’s appearance. He finished off all the divine wine and food, after 
which he also stole Laozi’s elixir and took away a considerable quantity of imperial wine for the enjoyment of his mountain monkeys. 
Our mind has been sorely vexed by this, and we therefore sent a hundred thousand celestial soldiers with cosmic nets to capture him. 
We haven’t yet received today’s report on how the battle is faring.” 

When the Bodhisattva heard this, she said to Disciple Hui’an, “You must leave Heaven at once, go down to the Flower-Fruit 
Mountain, and inquire into the military situation. If the enemy is engaged, you can lend your assistance; in any event, you must bring 
back a factual report.” The Disciple Hui’an straightened out his attire and mounted the cloud to leave the palace, an iron rod in his 
hand. When he arrived at the mountain, he found layers of cosmic net drawn tightly and sentries at every gate holding bells and 
shouting passwords. The encirclement of the mountain was indeed watertight! Hui’an stood still and called out, “Heavenly sentinels, 
may I trouble you to announce my arrival? I am Prince Moksa, second son of Devaraja Li, and I am also Hui’an, senior disciple of 
Guanyin of South Sea. I have come to inquire about the military situation.” 

The divine soldiers of the Five Mountains at once reported this beyond the gate. The constellations Aquarius, Pleiades, Hydra, and 
Scorpio then conveyed the message to the central tent. Devaraja Li issued a directorial flag, which ordered the cosmic nets to be 
opened and entrance permitted for the visitor. Day was just dawning in the east as Hui’an followed the flag inside and prostrated 
himself before the Four Great Devarajas and Devaraja Li. 

After he had finished his greetings, Devaraja Li said, “My child, where have you come from?” “Your untutored son,” said Hui’an, 
“accompanied the Bodhisattva to attend the Festival of Immortal Peaches. Seeing that the festival was desolate and the Jasper Pool laid 
waste, the Bodhisattva led the various deities and your untutored son to have an audience with the Jade Emperor. The Jade Emperor 
spoke at length about Father and King’s expedition to the Region Below to subdue the baneful monkey. Since no report has returned 
for a whole day and neither victory nor defeat has been ascertained, the Bodhisattva ordered your untutored son to come here to find 
out how things stand.” “We came here yesterday to set up the encampment,” said Devaraja Li, “and the Nine Luminaries were sent to 
provoke battle. But this fellow made a grand display of his magical powers, and the Nine Luminaries all returned defeated. After that, I 
led the troops personally to confront him, and the fellow also brought his forces into formation. Our hundred thousand celestial soldiers 
fought with him until evening, when he retreated front the battle by using the magic of body division. When we recalled the troops and 
made our investigation, we found that we had captured some wolves, crawling creatures, tigers, leopards, and the like. But we did not 
even catch half a monkey monster! And today we have not yet gone into battle.” 

As he was saying all this, someone came from the gate of the camp to report, “That Great Sage, leading his band of monkey 
monsters, is shouting for battle outside.” The Four Devarajas, Devaraja Li, and the prince at once made plans to bring out the troops, 
when Moksa said, “Father King, your untutored son was told by the Bodhisattva to come down here to acquire information. She also 
told me to give you assistance should there be actual combat. Though I am not very talented, I volunteer to go out now and see what 

kind of a Great Sage this is!” “Child,” said the Devaraja, “since you have studied with the Bodhisattva for several years, you must. I 
suppose, have some powers! But do be careful!” 

Dear prince! Grasping the iron rod with both hands, he tightened up his embroidered garment and leaped out of the gate. “Who is the 
Great Sage, Equal to Heaven?” he cried. Holding high his compliant rod, the Great Sage answered, “None other than old Monkey here! 
Who are you that you dare question me?” “I am Moksa, the second prince of Devaraja Li,” said Mokssa. “At present I am also the 
disciple of Bodhisattva Guanyin, a defender of the faith before her treasure throne. And my religious name is Hui’an.” “Why have you 
left your religious training at South Sea and come here to see me?” said the Great Sage. “I was sent by my master to inquire about the 
military situation,” said Moksa. “Seeing what a nuisance you have made of yourself, I have come specifically to capture you.” “You 
dare to talk so big?” said the Great Sage. “But don’t run away! Have a taste of old Monkey’s rod!” Moksa was not at all frightened and 
met his opponent squarely with his own iron rod. The two of them stood before the gate of the camp at mid-mountain, and what a 
magnificent battle they fought! 

tough one rod is pitted against another, the iron's quite different; 

tough this weapon couples with the other, the persons are not the same. 

tis one's called the Great Sage, a wayward primordial god; 

te other is Guanyin's disciple, a true hero and proud. 

te all-iron rod has been pounded a thousand times, 

ade by Six Gods of Darkness and Six Gods of Light. 

te compliant rod sets the depth of Heaven’s river, 

thing divine ruling the oceans with magic might. 

te two of them in meeting have found their match; 

ick and forth they battle in endless rounds. 

•om this one the rod of stealthy hands, 
wage and fierce, 

•ound the waist stabs and jabs swiftly as the wind; 

•om the other the rod, doubling as a spear 
nving and relentless, 

•ts up not a moment its parrying left and right. 

n this side the banners flare and flutter; 

n the other the war drums roll and rattle. 

n thousand celestial fighters circle round and round. 

le monkey monsters of a whole cave stand in rows and rows. 

eird fog and dark cloud spread throughout the earth. 

te fume and smoke of battle reach even Heaven’s Home. 

sterday’s battle was something to behold. 

ill more violent is the contest today. 

ivy the truly able Monkey King: 

oksa's beaten—he is fleeing for life! 

Our Great Sage battled Hui’an for fifty or sixty rounds until the prince’s arms and shoulders were sore and numb and he could fight 
no longer. After one final, futile swing of his weapon, he fled in defeat. The Great Sage then gathered together his monkey troops and 
stationed them securely outside the entrance of the cave. At the camp of the Devaraja, the celestial soldiers could be seen receiving the 
prince and making way for him to enter the gate. Panting and puffing, he ran in and gasped out to the Four Devarajas, Pagoda Bearer 
Li, and Nata, “That Great Sage! What an ace! Great indeed is his magical power! Your son cannot overcome him and has returned 
defeated.” Shocked by the sight, Devaraja Li at once wrote a memorial to the Throne to request further assistance. The demon king 
Mahabali and Prince Moksa were sent to Heaven to present the document. 

Not daring to linger, the two of them crashed out of the cosmic nets and mounted the holy mist and hallowed cloud. In a moment 
they reached the Hall of Perfect Light and met the Four Celestial Masters, who led them into the Treasure Hall of Divine Mists to 
present their memorial. Hui’an also saluted the Bodhisattva, who asked him, “What have you found out about the situation?” “When I 
reached the Flower-Fruit Mountain by your order,” said Hui’an, “I opened the cosmic nets by my call. Seeing my father, I told him of 
my master’s intentions in sending me. Father King said, ‘We fought a battle yesterday with that Monkey King but managed to take 
from him only tigers, leopards, lions, elephants, and the like. We did not catch a single one of his monkey monsters.’ As we were 
talking, he again demanded battle. Your disciple used the iron rod to fight him for fifty or sixty rounds, but I could not prevail against 
him and returned to the camp defeated. Thus father had to send the demon king Mahabali and your pupil to come here for help.” The 
Bodhisattva bowed her head and pondered. 

We now tell you about the Jade Emperor, who opened the memorial and found a message asking for assistance. “This is rather 
absurd!” he said laughing. “Is this monkey monster such a wizard that not even a hundred thousand soldiers from Heaven can vanquish 
him? Devaraja Li is again asking for help. What division of divine warriors can we send to assist him?” Hardly had he finished 
speaking when Guanyin folded her hands and said to him. “Your Majesty, let not your mind be troubled! This humble cleric will 
recommend a god who can capture the monkey.” “Which one would you recommend?” said the Jade Emperor. “Your Majesty’s 
nephew,” said the Bodhisattva, “the Immortal Master of Illustrious Sagacity Erlang, 2 who is living at the mouth of the River of 
Libations in the Guan Prefecture and enjoying the incense and oblations offered to him from the Region Below. In former days he 
himself slew six monsters. Under his command are the Brothers of Plum Mountain and twelve hundred plant-headed deities, all 
possessing great magical powers. However, he will agree only to special assignments and will not obey any general summons. Your 
Majesty may want to send an edict transferring his troops to the scene of the battle and requesting his assistance. Our monster will 
surely be captured.” When the Jade Emperor heard this, he immediately issued such an edict and ordered the demon king Mahabali to 
present it. 

Having received the edict, the demon king mounted a cloud and went straight to the mouth of the River of Libations. It took him less 
than half an hour to reach the temple of the Immortal Master. Immediately the demon magistrates guarding the doors made this report 
inside: “There is a messenger from Heaven outside who has arrived with an edict in his hand.” Erlang and his brothers came out to 
receive the edict, which was read before burning incense. The edict said: 

The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, a monstrous monkey from the Flower-Fruit Mountain, is in revolt. At the Palace he stole peaches, wine, and elixir, and disrupted the Grand Festival of Immortal 
Peaches. A hundred thousand Heavenly soldiers with eighteen sets of cosmic nets were dispatched to surround the mountain and capture him, but victory has not yet been secured. We therefore make 
this special request of our worthy nephew and his sworn brothers to go to the Flower-Fruit Mountain and assist in destroying this monster. Following your success will be lofty elevation and abundant 

In great delight the Immortal Master said, “Let the messenger of Heaven go back. I will go at once to offer my assistance with drawn 
sword.” The demon king went back to report, but we shall speak no further of that. 

This Immortal Master called together the Six Brothers of Plum Mountain: they were Kang, Zhang, Yao, and Li, the four grand 
marshals, and Guo Shen and Zhi Jian, the two generals. As they congregated before the court, he said to them, “The Jade Emperor just 
now sent us to the Flower-Fruit Mountain to capture a monstrous monkey. Let’s get going!” Delighted and willing, the brothers at once 
called out the divine soldiers under their command. With falcons mounted and dogs on leashes, with arrows ready and bows drawn, 
they left in a violent magic wind and crossed in a moment the great Eastern Ocean. As they landed on the Flower-Fruit Mountain, they 
saw their way blocked by dense layers of cosmic net. “Divine commanders guarding the cosmic nets, hear us,” they shouted. “We are 
specially assigned by the Jade Emperor to capture the monstrous monkey. Open the gate of your camp quickly and let us through.” The 
various deities conveyed the message to the inside, level by level. The Four Devarajas and Devaraja Li then came out to the gate of the 
camp to receive them. After they had exchanged greetings, there were questions about the military situation, and the Devaraja gave 
them a thorough briefing. “Now that I, the Little Sage, have come,” said the Immortal Master, laughing, “he will have to engage in a 
contest of transformations with his adversary. You gentlemen make sure that the cosmic nets are tightly drawn on all sides, but leave 
the top uncovered. Let me try my hand in this contest. If I lose, you gentlemen need not come to my assistance, for my own brothers 
will be there to support me. If I win, you gentlemen will not be needed in tying him up either; my own brothers will take care of that. 
All I need is the Pagoda Bearer Devaraja to stand in midair with his imp-reflecting mirror. If the monster should be defeated, I fear that 
he may try to flee to a distant locality. Make sure that his image is clearly reflected in the mirror, so that we don’t lose him.” The 
Devarajas set themselves up in the four directions, while the heavenly soldiers all lined up according to their planned formations. 

With himself as the seventh brother, the Immortal Master led the four grand marshals and the two generals out of the camp to 
provoke battle. The other warriors were ordered to defend their encampment with vigilance, and the plant-headed deities were ordered 
to have the falcons and dogs ready for battle. The Immortal Master went to the front of the Water-Curtain Cave, where he saw a troop 
of monkeys neatly positioned in an array that resembled a coiled dragon. At the center of the away was the banner bearing the words 
“The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven.” “That audacious monster!” said the Immortal Master. “How dare he assume the rank ‘Equal to 
Heaven’?” “There’s no time for praise or blame,” said the Six Brothers of Plum Mountain. “Let’s challenge him at once!” When the 
little monkeys in front of the camp saw the Immortal Master, they ran quickly to make their report. Seizing his golden-hooped rod, 
straightening out his golden cuirass, slipping on his cloud-treading shoes, and pressing down his red-gold cap, the Monkey King leaped 
out of the camp. He opened his eyes wide to stare at the Immortal Master, whose features were remarkably refined and whose attire 
was most elegant. Truly, he was a man of 

matures most comely and most noble mien, 
ith shoulder-reaching ears and shining eyes. 

Is head wore the Three Mountains Phoenix cap. 

Is body donned a pale yellow goose-down robe, 
old threaded boots matched coiling dragon socks, 
ght flower-like emblems his jade belt adorned} 

•om his waist hung the crescent pellet bow. 
is hands held a lance of three points and two blades, 
nee he cleaved Peach Mountain to save his mother, 
is one pellet struck a tall tree s two phoenixes, 
dying eight fiends flung far his fame 
■ bond brother midst Plum Mountain's Seven Saints, 
is lofty mind scorned being high Heaven’s kin; 
is pride led him to dwell near Libations Stream. 

•om Chi City here’s the kind heroic sage } 
r boundless epiphanies, he's named Erlang. 

When the Great Sage saw him, he lifted high his golden-hooped rod with gales of laughter and called out, “What little warrior are 
you and where do you come from, that you dare present yourself here to provoke battle?” “You must have eyes but no pupils,” shouted 
the Immortal Master, “if you don’t recognize me! I am the maternal nephew of the Jade Emperor, Erlang, the King of Illustrious Grace 
and Spirit by imperial appointment. I have received my order from above to arrest you, the rebellious Bimawen ape. Don’t you know 
that your time has come?” “I remember,” said the Great Sage, “that the sister of the Jade Emperor some years ago became enamored of 
the Region Below; she married a man by the name of Yang and had a son by him."'Are you that boy who was reputed to have cleaved 
open the Peach Mountain with his ax? I would like to rebuke you roundly, but I have no grudge against you. I can hit you with this rod 
of mine too, but I’d like to spare your life! A little boy like you, why don’t you hurry back and ask your Four Great Devarajas to come 
out?” When the Immortal Master heard this, he grew very angry and shouted, “Reckless ape! Don’t you dare be so insolent! Take a 
sample of my blade!” Swerving to dodge the blow, the Great Sage quickly raised his golden-hooped rod to engage his opponent. What 
a fine fight there was between the two of them: 

iang, the God of Illustrious Kindness, 
id the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven! 

tis one, haughty and proud, defied the Handsome Monkey King, 
mt one, not knowing his man, would crush all stalwart foes. 

'.ddenly these two met, 

id both desired a match — 

ley had never known which was the better man; 

•day they'd learn who’s strong and who's weak! 
te iron rod seemed a flying dragon, 
id the lance divine a dancing phoenix: 
ft and right they struck, 
tacking both front and back. 

le Plum Mountain Six Brothers 'awesome presence filled one side, 
hile the four generals, like Ma and Liu, took command on the other. 

I worked as one to wave flags and roll drums; 
l helped the fight by cheers while beating the gong, 
vo sharp weapons sought a chance to hurt, 
it thrusts and parries did not slack one whit, 
ie golden-hooped rod, wonder of the sea, 

mid change and fly to snare a victory, 
little lag and your life is over! 
tiny error and your luck runs out! 

The Immortal Master fought the Great Sage for more than three hundred rounds, but the result still could not be determined. The 
Immortal Master, therefore, summoned all his magical powers; with a shake, he made his body a hundred thousand feet tall. Holding 
with both hands the divine lance of three points and two blades like the peaks that cap the Hua Mountain, this green-faced, saber- 
toothed figure with scarlet hair aimed a violent blow at the head of the Great Sage. But the Great Sage also exerted his magical power 
and changed himself into a figure having the features and height of Erlang. He wielded a compliant golden-hooped rod that resembled 
the Heaven-supporting pillar on top of Mount Kunlun to oppose the god Erlang. This vision so terrified the marshals, Ma and Liu, that 
they could no longer wave the flags, and so appalled the generals, Beng and Ba, that they could use neither scimitar nor sword. On the 
side of Erlang, the Brothers Kang, Zhang, Yao, Li, Guo Shen, and Zhi Jian gave the order to the plant-headed deities to let loose the 
falcons and dogs and to advance upon those monkeys in front of the Water-Curtain Cave with mounted arrows and drawn bows. The 
charge, alas, 

Ispersed the four mighty commanders of monkey imps 
id captured two or three thousand numinous fiends! 

Those monkeys dropped their spears and abandoned their armor, forsook their swords, and threw away their lances. They scattered in 
all directions—running, screaming, scuttling up the mountain, or scrambling back to the cave. It was as if a cat at night had stolen upon 
resting birds: they darted up as stars to fill the sky. The Brothers thus gained a complete victory, of which we shall speak no further. 

Now we were telling you about the Immortal Master and the Great Sage, who had changed themselves into forms which imitated 
Heaven and Earth. As they were doing battle, the Great Sage suddenly perceived that the monkeys of his camp were put to rout, and 
his heart grew faint. He changed out of his magic form, turned around, and fled, dragging his rod behind him. When the Immortal 
Master saw that he was running away, he chased him with great strides, saying, “Where you going? Surrender now, and your life will 
be spared!” The Great Sage did not stop to fight anymore but ran as fast as he could. Near the cave’s entrance, he ran right into Kang, 
Zhang, Yao, and Li, the four grand marshals, and Guo Shen and Zhi Jian, the two generals, who were at the head of an army blocking 
his way. “Lawless ape!” they cried, “where do you think you’re going?” Quivering all over, the Great Sage squeezed his golden- 
hooped rod back into an embroidery needle and hid it in his ear. With a shake of his body, he changed himself into a small sparrow and 
flew to perch on top of a tree. In great agitation, the six Brothers searched all around but could not find him. “We’ve lost the monkey 
monster! We’ve lost the monkey monster!” they all cried. 

As they were making all that clamor, the Immortal Master arrived and asked, “Brothers, where did you lose him in the chase?” “We 
just had him boxed in here,” said the gods, “but he simply vanished.” Scanning the place with his phoenix eye wide open, 6 Erlang at 
once discovered that the Great Sage had changed into a small sparrow perched on a tree. He changed out of his magic form and took 
off his pellet bow. With a shake of his body, he changed into a sparrow hawk with outstretched wings, ready to attack its prey. When 
the Great Sage saw this, he darted up with a flutter of his wings; changing himself into a cormorant, he headed straight for the open 
sky. When Erlang saw this, he quickly shook his feathers and changed into a huge ocean crane, which could penetrate the clouds to 
strike with its bill. The Great Sage therefore lowered his direction, changed into a small fish, and dove into a stream with a splash. 
Erlang rushed to the edge of the water but could see no trace of him. He thought to himself, “This simian must have gone into the 
water and changed himself into a fish, a shrimp, or the like. I'll change again to catch him.” He duly changed into a fish hawk and 
skimmed downstream over the waves. After a while, the fish into which the Great Sage had changed was swimming along with the 
current. Suddenly he saw a bird that looked like a green kite though its feathers were not entirely green, like an egret though it had 
small feathers, and like an old crane though its feet were not red. “That must be the transformed Erlang waiting for me,” he thought to 
himself. He swiftly turned around and swam away after releasing a few bubbles. When Erlang saw this, he said, “The fish that released 
the bubbles looks like a carp though its tail is not red, like a perch though there are no patterns on its scales, like a snake fish though 
there are no stars on its head, like a bream though its gills have no bristles. Why does it move away the moment it sees me? It must be 
the transfonned monkey himself!” He swooped toward the fish and snapped at it with his beak. The Great Sage shot out of the water 
and changed at once into a water snake; he swam toward shore and wriggled into the grass along the bank. When Erlang saw that he 
had snapped in vain and that a snake had darted away in the water with a splash, he knew that the Great Sage had changed again. 
Turning around quickly, he changed into a scarlet-topped gray crane, which extended its beak like sharp iron pincers to devour the 
snake. With a bounce, the snake changed again into a spotted bustard standing by itself rather stupidly amid the water pepper along the 
bank. When Erlang saw that the monkey had changed into such a vulgar creature—for the spotted bustard is the basest and most 
promiscuous of birds, mating indiscriminately with phoenixes, hawks, or crows—he refused to approach him. Changing back into his 
true form, he went and stretched his bow to the fullest. With one pellet he sent the bird hurtling. 

The Great Sage took advantage of this opportunity, nonetheless. Rolling down the mountain slope, he squatted there to change again 
—this time into a little temple for the local spirit. His wide-open mouth became the entrance, his teeth the doors, his tongue the 
Bodhisattva, and his eyes the windows. Only his tail he found to be troublesome, so he stuck it up in the back and changed it into a 
flagpole. The Immortal Master chased him down the slope, but instead of the bustard he had hit he found only a little temple. He 
opened his phoenix eye quickly and looked at it carefully. Seeing the flagpole behind it, he laughed and said, “It’s the ape! Now he’s 
trying to deceive me again! I have seen plenty of temples before but never one with a flagpole behind it. This must be another of that 
animal’s tricks. Why should I let him lure me inside where he can bite me once I’ve entered? First I'll smash the windows with my fist! 
Then I’ll kick down the doors!” 

The Great Sage heard this and said in dismay, “How vicious! The doors are my teeth and the windows my eyes. What am I going to 
do with my eyes smashed and my teeth knocked out?” Leaping up like a tiger, he disappeared again into the air. The Immortal Master 
was looking all around for him when the four grand marshals and the two generals arrived together. “Elder Brother,” they said, “have 
you caught the Great Sage?” “A moment ago,” said the Immortal Master laughing, “the monkey changed into a temple to trick me. I 
was about to smash the windows and kick down the doors when he vanished out of sight with a leap. It’s all very strange! Very 

strange!” The Brothers were astonished, but they could find no trace of him in any direction. 

“Brothers,” said the Immortal Master, “keep a lookout down here. Let me go up there to find him.” He swiftly mounted the clouds 
and rose up into the sky, where he saw Devaraja Li holding high the imp-reflecting mirror and standing on top of the clouds with Nata. 
“Devaraja,” said the Immortal Master, “have you seen the Monkey King?” “He hasn’t come up here,” said the Devaraja, "I have been 
watching him in the mirror.” 

After telling them about the duel in magic and transformations and the captivity of the rest of the monkeys, the Immortal Master 
said, “He finally changed into a temple. Just as I was about to attack him, he got away.” When Devaraja Li heard these words, he 
turned the imp-reflecting mirror all the way around once more and looked into it. “Immortal Master,” he said, roaring with laughter. 
“Go quickly! Quickly! That monkey used his magic of body concealment to escape from the cordon and he’s now heading for the 
mouth of your River of Libations.” 

We now tell you about the Great Sage, who had arrived at the mouth of the River of Libations. With a shake of his body, he changed 
into the form of Holy Father Erlang. Lowering the direction of his cloud, he went straight into the temple, and the demon magistrates 
could not tell that he was not the real Erlang. Every one of them, in fact, kowtowed to receive him. He sat down in the middle and 
began to examine the various offerings; the three kinds of sacrificial meat brought by Li Hu, the votive offering of Zhang Long, the 
petition for a son by Zhao Jia, and the request for healing by Qian Bing. As he was looking at these, someone made the report, 
“Another Holy Father has arrived!” The various demon magistrates went quickly to look and were terror-stricken, one and all. The 
Immortal Master asked, “Did a so-called Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, come here?” “We haven’t seen any Great Sage,” said the 
demon magistrates. “But another Holy Father is in there examining the offerings.” The Immortal Master crashed through the door; 
seeing him, the Great Sage revealed his true form and said, “There’s no need for the little boy to strive anymore! Sun is now the name 
of this temple!” 

The Immortal Master lifted his divine lance of three points and two blades and struck, but the Monkey King with agile body was 
quick to move out of the way. He whipped out that embroidery needle of his, and with one wave caused it to take on the thickness of a 
rice bowl. Rushing forward, he engaged Erlang face to face. Starting at the door of the temple, the two combatants fought all the way 
back to the Flower-Fruit Mountain, treading on clouds and mists and shouting insults at each other. The Four Devarajas and their 
followers were so startled by their appearance that they stood guard with even greater vigilance, while the grand marshals joined the 
Immortal Master to surround the Handsome Monkey King. But we shall speak of them no more. 

We tell you instead about the demon king Mahabali, who, having requested the Immortal Master and his Six Brothers to lead their 
troops to subdue the monster, returned to the Region Above to make his report. Conversing with the Bodhisattva Guanyin, the Queen 
Mother, and the various divine officials in the Hall of Divine Mists, the Jade Emperor said, “If Erlang has already gone into battle, why 
has no further report come back today?” Folding her hands, Guanyin said, “Permit this humble cleric to invite Your Majesty and the 
Patriarch of Dao to go outside the South Heaven Gate, so that you may find out personally how things are faring.” “That’s a good 
suggestion,” said the Jade Emperor. He at once sent for his imperial carriage and went with the Patriarch, Guanyin, the Queen Mother, 
and the various divine officials to the South Heaven Gate, where the cortege was met by celestial soldiers and guardians. They opened 
the gate and peered into the distance; there they saw cosmic nets on every side manned by celestial soldiers, Devaraja Li and Nata in 
midair holding high the impreflecting mirror, and the Immortal Master and his Brothers encircling the Great Sage in the middle and 
fighting fiercely. The Bodhisattva opened her mouth and addressed Laozi: “What do you think of Erlang, whom this humble cleric 
recommended? He is certainly powerful enough to have the Great Sage surrounded, if not yet captured. I shall now help him to achieve 
his victory and make certain that the enemy will be taken prisoner.” 

“What weapon will the Bodhisattva use,” asked Laozi, “and how will you assist him?” “I shall throw down my immaculate vase that 
I use for holding my willow sprig,” said the Bodhisattva. “When it hits that monkey, at least it will knock him over, even if it doesn’t 
kill him. Erlang, the Little Sage, will then be able to capture him.” 

“That vase of yours,” said Laozi, “is made of porcelain. It’s all right if it hits him on the head. But if it crashed on the iron rod 
instead, won’t it be shattered? You had better not raise your hands; let me help him win.” The Bodhisattva said, “Do you have any 

“I do, indeed,” said Laozi. He rolled up his sleeve and took down from his left arm an armlet, saying, “This is a weapon made of red 
steel, brought into existence during my preparation of elixir and fully charged with theurgical forces. It can be made to transform at 
will; indestructible by fire or water, it can entrap many things. It’s called the diamond cutter or the diamond snare. The year when I 
crossed the Hangu Pass, I depended on it a great deal for the conversion of the barbarians, for it was practically my bodyguard night 
and day. Let me throw it down and hit him.” After saying this, Laozi hurled the snare down from the Heaven Gate; it went tumbling 
down into the battlefield at the Flower-Fruit Mountain and landed smack on the Monkey King’s head. The Monkey King was engaged 
in a bitter struggle with the Seven Sages and was completely unaware of this weapon, which had dropped from the sky and hit him on 
the crown of his head. No longer able to stand on his feet, he toppled over. He managed to scramble up again and was about to flee, 
when the Holy Father Erlang’s small hound dashed forward and bit him in the calf. He was pulled down for the second time and lay on 
the ground cursing, “You brute! Why don’t you go and do your master in, instead of coming to bite old Monkey?” Rolling over 
quickly, he tried to get up, but the Seven Sages all pounced on him and pinned him down. They bound hint with ropes and punctured 
his breastbone with a knife, so that he could transform no further. 

Laozi retrieved his diamond snare and requested the Jade Emperor to return to the Hall of Divine Mists with Guanyin, the Queen 
Mother, and the rest of the Immortals. Down below the Four Great Deva Kings and Devaraja Li all retired their troops, broke camp, 
and went forward to congratulate Erlang, saying, “This is indeed a magnificent accomplishment by the Little Sage!” “This has been the 
great blessing of the Heavenly Devas,” said the Little Sage, “and the proper exercise of their divine authority. What have I 
accomplished?” The Brothers Kang, Zhang, Yao, and Li said, “Elder Brother need have no further discussion. Let us take this fellow 
up to the Jade Emperor to see what will be done with him.” “Worthy Brothers,” said the Immortal Master, “you may not have a 
personal audience with the Jade Emperor because you have not received any divine appointment. Let the celestial guardians take him 
into custody. I shall go with the Devaraja to the Region Above to make our report, while all of you make a thorough search of the 

mountain here. After you have cleaned it out, go back to the River of Libations. When I have our deeds recorded and received our 
rewards, I shall return to celebrate with you.” The four grand marshals and the two generals followed his bidding. The Immortal 
Master then mounted the clouds with the rest of the deities, and they began their triumphal journey back to Heaven, singing songs of 
victory all the way. In a little while, they reached the outer court of the Hall of Perfect Light, and the Heavenly preceptor went forward 
to memorialize to the Throne, saying, ‘‘The Four Great Devarajas have captured the monstrous monkey, the Great Sage, Equal to 
Heaven. They await the command of Your Majesty.” The Jade Emperor then gave the order that the demon king Mahabali and the 
celestial guardians take the prisoner to the monster execution block, where he was to be cut to small pieces. Alas, this is what happens 

■aud and impudence, now punished by the Law; 
zroics grand will fade in the briefest time! 



From the 8 Trigrams Brazier the Great Sage escapes; 

Beneath the Five Phases Mountain, Mind Monkey is still. ^ 

ime and fortune, 
l predestined; 

ie must ever shun a guileful heart. 

?ctitude and truth, 

le fruits of virtue grow both long and deep, 
little presumption brings on Heaven s wrath: 
tough yet unseen, it will surely come in time, 
k the Lord of the East ■ for why 
<ch pains and perils now appear: 

’cause pride has sought to scale the limits, 
noring hierarchy to flout the law. 

We were telling you about the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, who was taken by the celestial guardians to the monster execution block, 
where he was bound to the monster-subduing pillar. They then slashed him with a scimitar, hewed him with an ax, stabbed him with a 
spear, and hacked him with a sword, but they could not hurt his body in any way. Next, the Star Spirit of the South Pole ordered the 
various deities of the Fire Department to bum him with fire, but that, too, had little effect. The gods of the Thunder Department were 
then ordered to strike him with thunderbolts, but not a single one of his hairs was destroyed. The demon king Mahabali and the others 
therefore went back to report to the Throne, saying, “Your Majesty, we don’t know where this Great Sage has acquired such power to 
protect his body. Your subjects slashed him with a scimitar and hewed him with an ax; we also struck him with thunder and burned him 
with fire. Not a single one of his hairs was destroyed. What shall we do?” 

When the Jade Emperor heard these words, he said, “What indeed can we do to a fellow like that, a creature of that sort?” Laozi then 
came forward and said, “That monkey ate the immortal peaches and drank the imperial wine. Moreover, he stole the divine elixir and 
ate five gourdfuls of it, both raw and cooked. All this was probably refined in his stomach by the Samadhi fire 3 to form a single solid 
mass. The union with his constitution gave him a diamond body, which cannot be quickly destroyed. It would be better, therefore, if 
this Daoist takes him away and places him in the Brazier of Eight Trigrams, where he will be smelted by high and low heat. When he is 
finally separated from my elixir, his body will certainly be reduced to ashes.” When the Jade Emperor heard these words, he told the 
Six Gods of Darkness and the Six Gods of Light to release the prisoner and hand him over to Laozi, who left in obedience to the divine 
decree. Meanwhile, the illustrious Sage Erlang was rewarded with a hundred gold blossoms, a hundred bottles of imperial wine, a 
hundred pellets of elixir, together with rare treasures, lustrous pearls, and brocades, which he was told to share with his brothers. After 
expressing his gratitude, the Immortal Master returned to the mouth of the River of Libations, and for the time being we shall speak of 
hint no further. 

Arriving at the Tushita Palace, Laozi loosened the ropes on the Great Sage, pulled out the weapon from his breastbone, and pushed 
hint into the Brazier of Eight Trigrams. He then ordered the Daoist who watched over the brazier and the page boy in charge of the fire 
to blow up a strong flame for the smelting process. The brazier, you see, was of eight compartments corresponding to the eight 
trigrams of Qian, Kan, Gen, Zhen, Xun, Li, Kun, and Dui. The Great Sage crawled into the space beneath the compartment that 
corresponded to the Xun trigram. Now Xun symbolizes wind; where there is wind, there is no fire. However, wind could chum up 
smoke, which at that moment reddened his eyes, giving them a permanently inflamed condition. Hence they were sometimes called 
Fiery Eyes and Diamond Pupils. 

Truly time passed swiftly, and the forty-ninth day arrived imperceptibly. 4 The alchemical process of Laozi was perfected, and on that 
day he came to open the brazier to take out his elixir. The Great Sage at the time was covering his eyes with both hands, rubbing his 
face and shedding tears. He heard noises on top of the brazier and, opening his eyes, suddenly saw light. Unable to restrain himself, he 
leaped out of the brazier and kicked it over with a loud crash. He began to walk straight out of the room, while a group of startled fire 
tenders and guardians tried desperately to grab hold of him. Every one of them was overthrown; he was as wild as a white brow tiger in 
a fit, a one-homed dragon with a fever. Laozi rushed up to clutch at him, only to be greeted by such a violent shove that he fell head 
over heels while the Great Sage escaped. Whipping the compliant rod out from his ear, he waved it once in the wind and it had the 
thickness of a rice bowl. Holding it in his hands, without regard for good or ill, he once more careened through the Heavenly Palace, 
fighting so fiercely that the Nine Luminaries all shut themselves in and the Four Devarajas disappeared from sight. Dear Monkey 
Monster! Here is a testimonial poem for him. The poem says; 

iis cosmic being fully fused with nature’s gifts 
isses with ease through ten thousand toils and tests. 

'st and motionless like the One Great Void, 
irfect, quiescent, he's named the Primal Depth, 
mg refined in the brazier, he’s no mercury or lead, ^ 
st the very immortal, living above all things, 
irever transforming, he changes still; 
tree refuges and five commandments ^ he all rejects. 

Here is another poem: 

spirit beam filling the supreme void — 
mt s how the rod behaves accordingly, 
lengthens or shortens as one would wish; 
oright or prone, it grows or shrinks at will. 

And another: 

2 ape’s body of Dao weds the human mind. 

ind is a monkey—this meaning's profound, 
le Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, is no false thought. 

>w could the post of BanHorse justly show his gifts? 
dorse works with Monkey ” means both Mind and Will 
*ed binding firmly. Don't seek them outside. 

I things back to Nirvana follow one truth — 

1 join Tathdgata beneath twin trees? 

This time our Monkey King had no respect for persons great or small; he lashed out this way and that with his iron rod, and not a 
single deity could withstand him. He fought all the way into the Hall of Perfect Light and was approaching the Hall of Divine Mists, 
where fortunately Numinous Officer Wang, 8 aide to the Immortal Master of Adjuvant Holiness, was on duty. He saw the Great Sage 
advancing recklessly and went forward to bar his way, holding high his golden whip. “Wanton monkey,” he cried, “where are you 
going? I am here, so don’t you dare be insolent!” The Great Sage did not wait for further utterance; he raised his rod and struck at 
once, while Numinous Officer met him also with brandished whip. The two of them charged into each other in front of the Hall of 
Divine Mists. What a fight that was between 

red-blooded patriot of ample fame, 
id a Heaven’s rebel with notorious name! 
te saint and sinner gladly tangle close 
< that two brave fighters can test their skills, 
tough the rod is fierce 
id the whip is fleet, 

ow can the upright and just one forbear? 

tis one is a supreme god of judgment with thunderous voice; 

te other, the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, a monstrous ape. 

te golden whip and the iron rod used by the two 

•e both divine weapons from the House of God. 

Divine Mists Treasure Hall they show their might today, 

ich displaying his prowess winningly. 

tis one brashly seeks to take the Big Dipper Palace; 

te other with all his strength defends the sacred realm. 

bitter strife relentless they show their power; 

oving back and forth, whip or rod has yet to score. 

The two of them fought for some time, and neither victory nor defeat could yet be detennined. The Immortal Master of Adjuvant 
Holiness, however, had already sent word to the Thunder Department, and thirty-six thunder deities were summoned to the scene. They 
surrounded the Great Sage and plunged into a fierce battle. The Great Sage was not in the least intimidated; wielding his compliant 
rod, he parried left and right and met his attackers to the front and to the rear. In a moment he saw that the scimitars, lances, swords, 
halberds, whips, maces, hammers, axes, gilt bludgeons, sickles, and spades of the thunder deities were coming thick and fast. So with 
one shake of his body he changed into a creature with six arms and three heads. One wave of the compliant rod and it turned into three; 
his six arms wielded the three rods like a spinning wheel, whirling and dancing in their midst. The various thunder deities could not 
approach him at all. Truly his form was 

mbling round and round, 

■ight and luminous; 

form everlasting, how imitated by men? 

2 cannot be burned by fire. 

in he ever be drowned in water? 
lustrous pearl of manP he is indeed, 
tmune to all the spears and the swords. 

2 could be good; 

2 could be bad; 

■esent good and evil he could do at will. 

2 ’d be an immortal, a Buddha, if he’s good; * ® 
ickedness would cloak him with hair and horn, 
idlessly changing he runs amok in Heaven, 
it to be seized by fighting lords or thunder gods. 

At the time the various deities had the Great Sage surrounded, but they could not close in on him. All the hustle and bustle soon 
disturbed the Jade Emperor, who at once sent the Wandering Minister of Inspection and the Immortal Master of Blessed Wings to go to 
the Western Region and invite the aged Buddha to come and subdue the monster. 

The two sages received the decree and went straight to the Spirit Mountain. After they had greeted the Four Vajra-Buddhas and the 
Eight Bodhisattvas in front of the Treasure Temple of Thunderclap, they asked them to announce their arrival. The deities therefore 
went before the Treasure Lotus Platform and made their report. Tathagata at once invited them to appear before him, and the two sages 
made obeisance to the Buddha three times before standing in attendance beneath the platform. Tathagata asked, “What causes the Jade 
Emperor to trouble the two sages to come here?” 

The two sages explained as follows: “Some time ago there was bom on the Flower-Fruit Mountain a monkey who exercised his 
magic powers and gathered to himself a troop of monkeys to disturb the world. The Jade Emperor threw down a decree of pacification 
and appointed him a Bimawen, but he despised the lowliness of that position and left in rebellion. Devaraja Li and Prince Nata were 
sent to capture him, but they were unsuccessful, and another proclamation of amnesty was given to him. He was then made the Great 
Sage, Equal to Heaven, a rank without compensation. After a while he was given the temporary job of looking after the Garden of 
Immortal Peaches, where almost immediately he stole the peaches. He also went to the Jasper Pool and made off with the food and 
wine, devastating the Grand Festival. Half-drunk, he went secretly into the Tushita Palace, stole the elixir of Laozi, and then left the 
Celestial Palace in revolt. Again the Jade Emperor sent a hundred thousand Heavenly soldiers, but he was not to be subdued. 
Thereafter Guanyin sent for the Immortal Master Erlang and his sworn brothers, who fought and pursued him. Even then he knew 
many tricks of transformation, and only after he was hit by Laozi’s diamond snare could Erlang finally capture him. Taken before the 
Throne, he was condemned to be executed; but, though slashed by a scimitar and hewn by an ax, burned by fire and struck by thunder, 
he was not hurt at all. After Laozi had received royal permission to take him away, he was refined by fire, and the brazier was not 
opened until the forty-ninth day. Immediately he jumped out of the Brazier of Eight Trigrams and beat back the celestial guardians. He 

penetrated into the Hall of Perfect Light and was approaching the Hall of Divine Mists when Numinous Officer Wang, aide to the 
Immortal Master of Adjuvant Holiness, met and fought with him bitterly. Thirty-six thunder generals were ordered to encircle him 
completely, but they could never get near him. The situation is desperate, and for this reason, the Jade Emperor sent a special request 
for you to defend the Throne.” 

When Tathagata heard this, he said to the various bodhisattvas, ‘‘All of you remain steadfast here in the chief temple, and let no one 
relax his meditative posture. I have to go exorcise a demon and defend the Throne.” 

Tathagata then called Ananda and Kasyapa, his two venerable disciples, to follow him. They left the Thunderclap Temple and 
arrived at the gate of the Hall of Divine Mists, where they were met by deafening shouts and yells. There the Great Sage was being 
beset by the thirty-six thunder deities. The Buddhist Patriarch gave the dharma-order: “Let the thunder deities lower their arms and 
break up their encirclement. Ask the Great Sage to come out here and let me ask him what sort of divine power he has.” The various 
warriors retreated immediately, and the Great Sage also threw off his magical appearance. Changing back into his true form, he 
approached angrily and shouted with ill humor, “What region are you from, monk, that you dare stop the battle and question me?” 
Tathagata laughed and said, “I am Sakyamuni, the Venerable One from the Western Region of Ultimate Bliss. I have heard just now 
about your audacity, your wildness, and your repeated acts of rebellion against Heaven. Where were you bom, and in which year did 
you succeed in acquiring the Way? Why are you so violent and unruly?” The Great Sage said, “I was 

)rn of Earth and Heaven, immortal divinely fused, 
i old monkey hailing from the Flower-Fruit Mount, 
nade my home in the Water-Curtain Cave; 
eking friend and teacher, I learned the Great Mystery, 
irfected in the many arts of ageless life, 
earned to change in ways boundless and vast. 

•o narrow the space I found on that mortal earth: 
et my mind to live in the Green-jade Sky. 

Divine Mists Hall none should long reside, 

)r king may follow king in the reign of man. 
might is honor, let them yield to me. 

? only is hero who dares to fight and win!” 

When the Buddhist Patriarch heard these words, he laughed aloud in scorn. “A fellow like you,” he said, “is only a monkey who 
happened to become a spirit. How dare you be so presumptuous as to want to seize the honored throne of the Exalted Jade Emperor? 
He began practicing religion when he was very young, and he has gone through the bitter experience of one thousand seven hundred 
and fifty kalpas, with each kalpa lasting a hundred and twenty-nine thousand six hundred years. Figure out yourself how many years it 
took him to rise to the enjoyment of his great and limitless position! You are merely a beast who has just attained human form in this 
incarnation. How dare you make such a boast? Blasphemy! This is sheer blasphemy, and it will surely shorten your allotted age. 
Repent while there’s still time and cease your idle talk! Be wary that you don’t encounter such peril that you will be cut down in an 
instant, and all your original gifts will be wasted.” 

“Even if the Jade Emperor has practiced religion from childhood,” said the Great Sage, “he should not be allowed to remain here 
forever. The proverb says, 

any are the turns of kingship: 

> next year the turn will be mine! 

Tell him to move out at once and hand over the Celestial Palace to me. That’ll be the end of the matter. If not, I shall continue to cause 
disturbances and there’ll never be peace!” “Besides your immortality and your transformations,” said the Buddhist Patriarch, “what 
other powers do you have that you dare to usurp this hallowed region of Heaven?” “I’ve plenty of them!” said the Great Sage. “Indeed, 
I know seventy-two transformations and a life that does not grow old through ten thousand kalpas. I know also how to cloud 
somersault, and one leap will take me one hundred and eight thousand miles. Why can’t I sit on the Heavenly throne?” 

The Buddhist Patriarch said, “Let me make a wager with you. If you have the ability to somersault clear of this right palm of mine, I 
shall consider you the winner. You need not raise your weapon in battle then, for I shall ask the Jade Emperor to go live with me in the 
West and let you have the Celestial Palace. If you cannot somersault out of my hand, you can go back to the Region Below and be a 
monster. Work through a few more kalpas before you return to cause more trouble.” 

When the Great Sage heard this, he said to himself, snickering, “What a fool this Tathagata is! A single somersault of mine can carry 
old Monkey one hundred and eight thousand miles, yet his palm is not even one foot across. How could I possibly not jump clear of 
it?” He asked quickly, “You’re certain that your decision will stand?” “Certainly it will,” said Tathagata. He stretched out his right 
hand, which was about the size of a lotus leaf. Our Great Sage put away his compliant rod and, summoning his power, leaped up and 
stood right in the center of the Patriarch’s hand. He said simply, “I’m off!” and he was gone—all but invisible like a streak of light in 
the clouds. Training the eye of wisdom on him, the Buddhist Patriarch saw that the Monkey King was hurtling along relentlessly like a 

As the Great Sage advanced, he suddenly saw five flesh-pink pillars supporting a mass of green air. “This must be the end of the 
road,” he said. “When I go back presently, Tathagata will be my witness and I shall certainly take up residence in the Palace of Divine 
Mists.” But he thought to himself, “Wait a moment! I’d better leave some kind of memento if I’m going to negotiate with Tathagata.” 
He plucked a hair and blew a mouthful of magic breath onto it, crying, “Change!” It changed into a writing brush with extra thick hair 
soaked in heavy ink. On the middle pillar he then wrote in large letters the following line: “The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, has made 
a tour of this place.” When he had finished writing, he retrieved his hair, and with a total lack of respect he left a bubbling pool of 
monkey urine at the base of the first pillar. He reversed his cloud somersault and went back to where he had started. Standing on 
Tathagata’s palm, he said, “I left, and now I’m back. Tell the Jade Emperor to give me the Celestial Palace.” 

“You pisshead ape!” scolded Tathagata. “Since when did you ever leave the palm of my hand?” The Great Sage said, “You are just 
ignorant! I went to the edge of Heaven, and I found five flesh-pink pillars supporting a mass of green air. I left a memento there. Do 
you dare go with me to have a look at the place?” “No need to go there,” said Tathagata. “Just lower your head and take a look.” When 
the Great Sage stared down with his fiery eyes and diamond pupils, he found written on the middle finger of the Buddhist Patriarch’s 

right hand the sentence, “The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, has made a tour of this place.” A pungent whiff of monkey urine came 
from the fork between the thumb and the first finger. Astonished, the Great Sage said, “Could this really happen? Could this really 
happen? I wrote those words on the pillars supporting the sky. How is it that they now appear on his finger? Could it be that he is 
exercising the magic power of foreknowledge without divination? I won’t believe it! I won’t believe it! Let me go there once more!” 

Dear Great Sage! Quickly he crouched and was about to jump up again, when the Buddhist Patriarch flipped his hand over and 
tossed the Monkey King out of the West Heaven Gate. The five fingers were transformed into the Five Phases of metal, wood, water, 
fire, and earth. They became, in fact, five connected mountains, named Five-Phases Mountain, which pinned him down with just 
enough pressure to keep him there. The thunder deities, Ananda, and Kasyapa all folded their hands and cried in acclamation: 

Praise be to virtue! Praise be to virtue! 

? learned to be human, born from an egg that year, 
id aimed to reap the authentic Way's fruit. 

? lived in a fine place by kalpas untouched, 
ne day he changed, expending vim and strength. 

■aving high place, he flouted Heaven’s reign, 
ocked saints and stole pills, breaking great relations. 

>il, full to the brim, now meets retribution. 

? know not when he may find release. 

After the Buddhist Patriarch Tathagata had vanquished the monstrous monkey, he at once called Ananda and Kasyapa to return with 
him to the Western Paradise. At that moment, however, Tianpeng 11 and Tianyou, two celestial messengers, came running out of the 
Treasure Hall of Divine Mists and said, “We beg Tathagata to wait a moment, please! Our Lord’s grand carriage will arrive 
momentarily.” When the Buddhist Patriarch heard these words, he turned around and waited with reverence. In a moment he did 
indeed see a chariot drawn by eight colorful phoenixes and covered by a canopy adorned with nine luminous jewels. The entire cortege 
was accompanied by the sound of wondrous songs and melodies, chanted by a vast celestial choir. Scattering precious blossoms and 
diffusing fragrant incense, it came up to the Buddha, and the Jade Emperor offered his thanks, saying, “We are truly indebted to your 
mighty dhamia for vanquishing that monster. We beseech Tathagata to remain for one brief day, so that we may invite the immortals to 
join us in giving you a banquet of thanks.” Not daring to refuse, Tathagata folded his hands to thank the Jade Emperor, saying, “Your 
old monk came here at your command, Most Honorable Deva. Of what power may I boast, really? I owe my success entirely to the 
excellent fortune of Your Majesty and the various deities. How can I be worthy of your thanks?” The Jade Emperor then ordered the 
various deities from the Thunder Department to send invitations abroad to the Three Pure Ones, the Four Ministers, the Five Elders, 
the Six Women Officials, 12 the Seven Stars, the Eight Poles, the Nine Luminaries, and the Ten Capitals. Together with a thousand 
immortals and ten thousand sages, they were to come to the thanksgiving banquet given for the Buddhist Patriarch. The Four Great 
Imperial Preceptors and the Divine Maidens of Nine Heavens were told to open wide the golden gates of the Jade Capital, the Treasure 
Palace of Primal Secret, and the Five Lodges of Penetrating Brightness. Tathagata was asked to be seated high on the Numinous 
Terrace of Seven Treasures, and the rest of the deities were then seated according to rank and age before a banquet of dragon livers, 
phoenix marrow, juices of jade, and immortal peaches. 

In a little while, the Jade-Pure Celestial Worthy of Commencement, the Highest-Pure Celestial Worthy of Numinous Treasure, the 
Great-Pure Celestial Worthy of Moral Virtue, 13 the Immortal Masters of Five Influences, the Star Spirits of Five Constellations, the 
Three Ministers, the Four Sages, the Nine Luminaries, the Left and Right Assistants, the Devaraja, and Prince Nata all marched in 
leading a train of flags and canopies in pairs. They were all holding rare treasures and lustrous pearls, fruits of longevity and exotic 
flowers to be presented to the Buddha. As they bowed before him, they said, “We are most grateful for the unfathomable power of 
Tathagata, who has subdued the monstrous monkey. We are grateful, too, to the Most Honorable Deva, who is having this banquet and 
asked us to come here to offer our thanks. May we beseech Tathagata to give this banquet a name?” 

Responding to the petition of the various deities, Tathagata said, “If a name is desired, let this be called ‘The Great Banquet for 
Peace in Heaven.’” “What a magnificent name!” the various Immortals cried in unison. “Indeed, it shall be the Great Banquet for 
Peace in Heaven.” When they finished speaking, they took their seats separately, and there was the pouring of wine and exchanging of 
cups, pinning of corsages 14 and playing of zithers. It was indeed a magnificent banquet, for which we have a testimonial poem. The 
poem says: 

iat Immortal Peach Feast the ape disturbed 
topped by this Banquet for Peace in Heav ’n. 

”agon flags and phoenix carts glow in halos bright; 
azing signs and banners whirl in hallowed light. 
i e tunes and songs divine are sweet and fair; 
loenix pipes and jade flutes both loudly play. 

•agrant incense shrouds this assembly of saints. 

I the world's tranquil to praise the Holy Court. 

As all of them were feasting merrily, the Lady Queen Mother also led a host of divine maidens and immortal singing girls to come 
before the Buddha, dancing with nimble feet. They bowed to him, and she said, “Our Festival of Immortal Peaches was ruined by that 
monstrous monkey. We are beholden to the mighty power of Tathagata for the enchainment of this mischievous ape. In the celebration 
during this Great Banquet for Peace in Heaven, we have little to offer as a token of our thanks. Please accept, however, these few 
immortal peaches plucked from the large trees by our own hands.” They were truly 

ilf red, half green, and spouting aroma sweet, 
tese luscious divine roots of ten thousand years, 
ty those fruits planted at Wuling Spring !' ^ 
ow could they match the marvels of Heaven’s home: 
lose tender ones of purple veins so rare in the world, 
id those peerlessly sweet of pale yellow pits? 
ley lengthen age, prolong life, and change your frame. 

? who’s lucky to eat them will ne ’er be the same. 

After the Buddhist Patriarch had pressed together his hands to thank the Queen Mother, she ordered the immortal singing girls and 

the divine maidens to sing and dance. All the immortals at the banquet applauded enthusiastically. Truly there were 

horls of Heavenly incense filling the seats, 
id profuse array of divine petals and stems, 
de capital and golden arches in what great splendor! 
ow priceless, too, the strange goods and rare treasures! 

>ery pair had the same age as Heaven. 

>ery set increased through ten thousand kalpas. 
ulberry fields or vast oceans, let them shift and change, 
z who lives here has neither grief nor fear. 

The Queen Mother commanded the immortal maidens to sing and dance, as wine cups and goblets clinked together steadily. After a 
little while, suddenly 

wondrous fragrance came to meet the nose, 
msing Stars and Planets in that great hall, 
le gods and the Buddha put down their cups, 
tising his head, each waited with his eyes, 
tere in the air appeared an aged man, 
olding a most luxuriant long-life plant. 

Is gourd had elixir often thousand years. 

Is book listed names twelve millennia old. 
y and earth in his cave knew no constraint, 
m and moon were perfected in his vase. ^ ^ 
z roamed the Four Seas in joy serene, 
id made the Ten Islets ^ his tranquil home, 
ztting drunk often at the Peaches Feast 
z woke; the moon shone brightly as of old. 
z had a long head, short frame, and large ears. 

•s name: Star of Long Life from South Pole. 

After the Star of Long Life arrived and greeted the Jade Emperor, he also went up to thank Tathagata, saying, “When I first heard that 
the baneful monkey was being led by Laozi to the Tushita Palace to be refined by alchemical fire, I thought peace was surely secured. I 
never suspected that he could still escape, and it was fortunate that Tathagata in his goodness had subdued this monster. When I got 
word of the thanksgiving banquet, I came at once. I have no other gifts to present to you but these purple agaric, jasper plant, jade- 
green lotus root, and golden elixir.” The poem says: 

de-green lotus and golden drug are given to Sakya. 
ke the sands of Ganges is the age of Tathagata. 
le brocade of the three wains is calm, eternal bliss. ^ ^ 
te nine-grade garland is a wholesome, endless life. ^ ^ 
te true master of the Madhyamika School ^ 
wells in the Heaven of both form and emptiness 
te great earth and cosmos all call him Lord, 
is sixteen-foot diamond frame’s great in blessing and age. ^ 

Tathagata accepted the thanks cheerfully, and the Star of Long Life went to his seat. Again there was pouring of wine and 
exchanging of cups. The Great Immortal of Naked Feet also arrived. After prostrating himself before the Jade Emperor, he too went to 
thank the Buddhist Patriarch, saying, “I am profoundly grateful for your dharma, which subdued the baneful monkey. I have no other 
things to convey my respect but two magic pears and some lire dates, which I now present to you.” 

The poem says: 

ie Naked-Feet Immortal brought fragrant pears and dates 
1 give to Amitdbha, whose count of years is long, 
rm as a hill is his Lotus Platform of Seven Treasures; 

•ocadelike is his Flower Seat of Thousand Gold adorned. 

) false speech is this—his age equals Heaven and Earth; 

>r is this a lie—his luck is great as the sea. 
essing and long life reach in him their fullest scope, 
welling in that Western Region of calm, eternal bliss. 

Tathagata again thanked him and asked Ananda and Kasyapa to put away the gifts one by one before approaching the Jade Emperor 
to express his gratitude for the banquet. By now, everyone was somewhat tipsy. A Spirit Minister of Inspection then arrived to make 
the report, “The Great Sage is sticking out his head!” “No need to worry,” said the Buddhist Patriarch. He took from his sleeve a tag on 
which were written in gold letters the words Orh mani padme hum. Handing it over to Ananda, he told him to stick it on the top of the 
mountain. This deva received the tag, took it out of the Heaven Gate, and stuck it tightly on a square piece of rock at the top of the 
Mountain of Five Phases. The mountain immediately struck root and grew together at the seams, though there was enough space for 
breathing and for the prisoner’s hands to crawl out and move around a bit. Ananda then returned to report, “The tag is tightly 

Tathagata then took leave of the Jade Emperor and the deities, and went with the two devas out of the Heaven Gate. Moved by 
compassion, he recited a divine spell and called together a local spirit and the Fearless Guards of Five Quarters to stand watch over the 
Five-Phases Mountain. They were told to feed the prisoner with iron pellets when he was hungry and to give him melted copper to 
drink when he was thirsty. When the time of his chastisement was fulfilled, they were told, someone would be coming to deliver him. 
So it is that 

ie brash, baneful monkey in revolt against Heaven 
brought to submission by Tathagata. 
z drinks melted copper to endure the seasons, 
id feeds on iron pellets to pass the time, 
ied by this bitter misfortune sent from the Sky, 
z’s glad to be living, though in a piteous lot. 
this hero is allowed to struggle anew, 
z 'll serve Buddha in future and go to the West. 

Another poem says: 

■ideful of his power once the time was ripe, 

2 tamed dragon and tiger, flaunting wily might, 
ealing peaches and wine, he roamed Heaven's House. 
2 found trust and grace in the City of Jade. 

2 ’s now bound, for his evil’s full to the brim. 

> good stockP’ unfailing his breath will rise again, 
he’s indeed to flee Tathagata's hands, 

2 must await from Tang court the holy monk. 


Our Buddha makes scriptures to impart ultimate bliss; 

Guanyin receives the decree to go up to Chang ’an .' 

•k at meditation-pass 
hy even countless queries 
buld lead just to empty old age! 

<ine bricks to make mirrors? 
oard snow for foodstuff. 
ow many youths are thus deceived; 
feather swallows the great ocean? 
mustard seed holds the Sumeru?^ 
olden Dhuta is gently smiling ^ 

le enlightened transcends the ten stops ^ and three wains ^ 

uggards must join the four beasts and six ways. ^ 

ho can hear below the Thoughtless Cliff 

meath the Shadowless Tree, 

le cuckoo s one call for the dawn of spring? 

)ads at Caoxi, perilous 
ouds on Vulture’s Peak, dense , 

?re an old friend s voice turns mute, 
a ten thousand-foot waterfall 
here a five-petal lotus unfolds, 
cense wraps an old temple s drapes, 
that hour, 

nee you break through to the source, 
le Dragon King’s three jewels you’ll see.^ 

The tune of this lyric is named “Su Wu at Slow Pace.” 11 

We shall now tell you about our Sovereign Buddha Tathagata, who took leave of the Jade Emperor and returned to the Treasure 
Monastery of Thunderclap. All the three thousand buddhas, the five hundred arhats, the eight diamond kings, and the countless 
bodhisattvas held temple pennants, embroidered canopies, rare treasures, and immortal flowers, forming an orderly array before the 
Spirit Mountain and beneath the two Sala Trees to welcome him. Tathagata stopped his hallowed cloud and said to them: 


ith deepest prajha ^ 

>oked through the three realms .' ^ 

/ fundamental nature 
ill end in extinction 
ke empty phenomena 
:isting as nothing, 
le wily ape’s extirpation, 
lis, none can comprehend, 
ime, birth, death, and origin 
f all forms appear thus. 

When he had finished speaking, he beamed forth the sarT light, 14 which filled the air with forty-two white rainbows, connected end to 
end from north to south. Seeing this, the crowd bowed down and worshipped. 

In a little while, Tathagata gathered together the holy clouds and blessed fog, ascended the lotus platform of the highest rank, and sat 
down solemnly. Those three thousand buddhas, five hundred arhats, eight diamond kings, and four bodhisattvas folded their hands and 
drew near. After bowing down, they asked, ‘‘The one who caused disturbance in Heaven and ruined the Peach Festival, who was he?” 
“That fellow,” said Tathagata, “was a baneful monkey bom in the Flower-Fruit Mountain. His wickedness was beyond all bounds and 
defied description. The divine warriors of the entire Heaven could not bring him to submission. Though Erlang caught him and Laozi 
tried to refine him with fire, they could not hurt him at all. When I arrived, he was just making an exhibition of his might and prowess 
in the midst of the thunder deities. When I stopped the fighting and asked about his antecedents, he said that he had magic powers, 
knowing how to transform himself and how to cloud somersault, which would carry him one hundred and eight thousand miles at a 
time. I made a wager with him to see whether he could leap clear of my hand. I then grabbed hold of him while my fingers changed 
into the Mountain of Five Phases, which had him firmly pinned down. The Jade Emperor opened wide the golden doors of the Jade 
Palace, invited me to sit at the head table, and gave a Banquet for Peace in Heaven to thank me. It was only a short while ago that I 
took leave of the throne to come back here.” All were delighted by these words. After they had expressed their highest praise for the 
Buddha, they withdrew according to their ranks; they went back to their several duties and enjoyed the bhutatathata.' 5 Truly it is the 
scene of 

:>lx mist encompassing Tianzhu, ^ f ' 

linbow light enclosing the Honored One, 

ho is called the First in the West, 

le King of the Formlessness School. ^ ^ 

f ten black apes are seen presenting fruits. 

iled-deer holding flowers in their mouths, 

ue phoenixes dancing, 

olorful birds singing, 

te spirit tortoise boasting of his age, 

id the divine crane picking agaric. 

ley enjoy in peace the Pure Land’s Jetavana , ' ^ 

le Dragon Palace, and worlds vast as Ganges ’sands. 

>ery day the flowers bloom; 

>ery hour the fruits ripen. 

tey work silence to reach perfection. 

tey meditate to bear the right fruit, 
ley do not die nor are they bom. 

7 growth is there, nor any decrease. 

ist and smoke wraithlike may come and go. 

7 seasons intrude, nor are years recalled. 

The poem says: 

1 go or come is casual and free; 
f fear or sorrow there’s not one degree, 
elds of Ultimate Bliss are flat and wide, 
this great world no four seasons abide. 

As the Buddhist Patriarch lived in the Treasure Monastery of the Thunderclap in the Spirit Mountain, he called together one day the 
various buddhas, arhats, guardians, bodhisattvas, diamond kings, and mendicant monks and nuns and said to them, “We do not know 
how much time has passed here since I subdued the wily monkey and pacified Heaven, but I suppose at least half a millennium has 
gone by in the worldly realm. As this is the fifteenth day of the first month of autumn, I have prepared a treasure bowl filled with a 
hundred varieties of exotic flowers and a thousand kinds of rare fruit. I would like to share them with all of you in celebration of the 
Feast of the Ullambana Bowl. 1 1 How about it?” Every one of them folded his hands and paid obeisance to the Buddha three times to 
receive the festival. Tathagata then ordered Ananda to take the flowers and fruits from the treasure bowl, and Kasyapa was asked to 
distribute them. All were thankful, and they presented poems to express their gratitude. 

The poem of blessing says: 

ie star of blessing shines before Lokajvestha~ ® 
ho enjoys blessing lasting and immense. 

Is blessing's boundless virtue endures as Earth. 

Is blessing’s source is gladly linked to Heaven. 

Is blessing's fields, far planted, prosper each year. 

's blessing’s sea, huge and deep, is ever strong. 

Is blessing fills the world and all will be blessed, 
ay his blessing increase, endless and complete. 

The poem of wealth says: 

Is wealth weighs a mountain where the phoenix sings. 

Is wealth trails the seasons to wish him long life. 

? gains wealth in huge sums as his body health. 

? joys in wealth abundant as the world in peace. 

Is wealth's reach equals Heaven is ever safe, 
is wealth’s name is sealike but even more pure. 

•s wealth's grace far-reaching is sought by all. 

Is wealth is boundless, enriching countless lands. 

The poem of long life says: 

ie Star of Long Life gives gifts to Tathagata, 

■om whom light of long life begins now to shine, 
ie long life fruits fill the bowls with hues divine, 
ie long life blooms, newly plucked, deck the lotus throne. 
i e long life verse, how elegant and finely wrought, 
ie long life songs are scored by gifted minds, 
ie long life's length matches the sun and moon s. 
mg life, like sea and mountain, is twice as long! 

After the bodhisattvas had presented their poems, they invited Tathagata to disclose the origin and elucidate the source. Tathagata 
gently opened his benevolent mouth to expound the great dharma and to proclaim the truth. He lectured on the wondrous doctrines of 
the three vehicles, the five skandhas, 21 and the Surangama Sutra. As he did so, celestial dragons were seen circling above and flowers 
descended like rain in abundance. It was truly thus: 

ie Chan mind shines bright like a thousand rivers 'moon; 
ue nature's pure and great as an unclouded sky. 

When Tathagata had finished his lecture, he said to the congregation, “I have “watched the Four Great Continents, and the morality 
of their inhabitants varies from place to place. Those living on the East Purvavideha revere Heaven and Earth, and they are 
straightforward and peaceful. Those on the North Uttarakuru, though they love to destroy life, do so out of the necessity of making a 
livelihood. Moreover, they are rather dull of mind and lethargic in spirit, and they are not likely to do much harm. Those of our West 
Aparagodanlya are neither covetous nor prone to kill; they control their humor and temper their spirit. There is, to be sure, no 
illuminate of the first order, but everyone is certain to attain longevity. Those who reside in the South JambudvTpa, however, are prone 
to practice lechery and delight in evildoing, indulging in much slaughter and strife. Indeed, they are all caught in the treacherous field 
of tongue and mouth, in the wicked sea of slander and malice. However, I have three baskets of true scriptures which can persuade man 
to do good.” Upon hearing these words, the various bodhisattvas folded their hands and bowed down. “What are the three baskets of 
authentic scriptures,” they asked, “that Tathagata possesses?” 

Tathagata said, “I have one collection of vinaya, which speaks of Heaven; one collection of sastras, which tells of the Earth; and one 
collection of sutras, which redeems the damned. Altogether the three collections of scriptures contain thirty-five divisions written in 
fifteen thousand one hundred forty-four scrolls. They are the scriptures for the cultivation of immortality; they are the gate to ultimate 
virtue. I myself would like to send these to the Land of the East; but the creatures in that region are so stupid and so scornful of the 
truth that they ignore the weighty elements of our Law and mock the true sect of Yoga. Somehow we need a person with power to go 
to the Land of the East and find a virtuous believer. He will be asked to experience the bitter travail of passing through a thousand 
mountains and ten thousand waters to come here in quest of the authentic scriptures, so that they may be forever implanted in the east 
to enlighten the people. This will provide a source of blessings great as a mountain and deep as the sea. Which one of you is willing to 
make such a trip?” 

At that moment, the Bodhisattva Guanyin came near the lotus platform and paid obeisance three times to the Buddha, saying, 
“Though your disciple is untalented, she is willing to go to the Land of the East to find a scripture pilgrim.” Lifting their heads to look, 
the various buddhas saw that the Bodhisattva had 

mind perfected in the four virtues,~ 
golden body filled with wisdom, 

■inges of dangling pearls and jade, 

ented bracelets set with lustrous treasures, 

irk hair piled smartly in a coiled-dragon bun, 

id brocade sashes fluttering as phoenix quills. 

zr green jade buttons 

id white silk robe 

ithed in holy light; 

zr velvet skirt 

id golden cords 

rapped by hallowed air. 

ith brows of new moon shape 

id eyes like two bright stars, 

zr jadelike face beams natural joy, 

id her ruddy lips seem a flash of red. 

zr immaculate vase overflows with nectar from year to year, 

ilding sprigs of weeping willow green from age to age. 

<e disperses the eight woes; 

\e redeems the multitude; 

<e has great compassion; 
ius she rules the Tai Mountain 
id lives at the South Sea. 

<e saves the poor, searching for their voices, 

>er heedful and solicitous, 

>er wise and efficacious. 

zr orchid heart delights in green bamboos; 

zr chaste nature loves the wisteria. 

\e is the merciful lord of the Potalaka Mountain, 
le Living Guanyin from the Cave of Tidal Sound. 

When Tathagata saw her, he was most delighted and said to her, “No other person is qualified to make this journey. It must be the 
Honorable Guanyin of mighty magic powers—she’s the one to do it!” “As your disciple departs for the east,” said the Bodhisattva, “do 
you have any instructions?” 

“As you travel,” said Tathagata, “you are to examine the way carefully. Do not journey high in the air, but remain at an altitude 
halfway between mist and cloud so that you can see the mountains and waters and remember the exact distance. You will then be able 
to instruct closely the scripture pilgrim. Since he may still find the journey difficult, I shall also give you five talismans.” Ordering 
Ananda and Kasyapa to bring out an embroidered cassock and a nine-ring priestly staff, he said to the Bodhisattva, “You may give this 
cassock and this staff to the scripture pilgrim. If he is firm in his intention to come here, he may put on the cassock and it will protect 
hint from falling back into the wheel of transmigration. When he holds the staff, it will keep him front meeting poison or harm.” The 
Bodhisattva bowed low to receive the gifts. Tathagata then took out also three fillets and handed them to the Bodhisattva, saying, 
“These treasures are called the tightening fillets, and though they are all alike, their uses are not the same. I have a separate spell for 
each of them: the Golden, the Constrictive, and the Prohibitive Spell. If you encounter on the way any monster who possesses great 
magic powers, you must persuade him to learn to be good and to follow the scripture pilgrim as his disciple. If he is disobedient, this 
fillet may be put on his head, and it will strike root the moment it comes into contact with the flesh. Recite the particular spell which 
belongs to the fillet and it will cause the head to swell and ache so painfully that he will think his brains are bursting. That will 
persuade him to come within our fold.” 

After the Bodhisattva had bowed to the Buddha and taken her leave, she called Disciple Hui’an to follow her. This Hui’an, you see, 
carried a huge iron rod that weighed a thousand pounds. He followed the Bodhisattva closely and served her as a powerful bodyguard. 
The Bodhisattva made the embroidered cassock into a bundle and placed it on his back; she hid the golden fillets, took up the priestly 
staff, and went down the Spirit Mountain. Lo, this one journey will result in 

Buddha son returning to keep his primal vow. 
te Gold Cicada Elder will clasp the candana?^ 

The Bodhisattva went to the bottom of the hill, where she was received at the door of the Jade Perfection Daoist Abbey by the Great 
Immortal of Golden Head. The Bodhisattva was presented with tea, but she did not dare linger long, saying, “I have received the 
dharma-decree of Tathagata to look for a scripture pilgrim in the Land of the East.” The Great Immortal said, “When do you expect the 
scripture pilgrim to arrive?” “I’m not sure,” said the Bodhisattva. “Perhaps in two or three years’ time he’ll be able to get here.” So she 
took leave of the Great Immortal and traveled at an altitude halfway between cloud and mist in order that she might remember the way 
and the distance. We have a testimonial poem for her that says: 

search through ten thousand miles—no need to say! 

• state who will be found is no easy thing, 
is not seeking someone been just like this? 

hat’s been my whole life, was that a mere chance? 
z preach the Dao, our method turns foolish 
hen saying meets no belief; we preach in vain. 

• find some percipient I’d yield liver and gall, 
wre's affinity, I think, lying straight ahead. 

As the mentor and her disciple journeyed, they suddenly came upon a large body of Weak Water, for this was the region of the 
Flowing Sand River. 24 “My disciple,” said the Bodhisattva, “this place is difficult to cross. The scripture pilgrim will be of temporal 
bones and mortal stock. How will he be able to get across?” “Teacher,” said Hui’an, “how wide do you suppose this river is?” The 
Bodhisattva stopped her cloud to take a look, and she saw that 

the east it touches the sandy coast; 

the west it joins the barbaric states; 
the south it reaches even Wuyi 
the north it comes near the Tartars. 

: width is eight hundred miles, 
id its length must measure many thousand more, 
le water flows as if Earth is heaving its frame. 
i e current rises like a mountain rearing its back, 
utspread and immense; 

'St and interminable. 

te sound of its towering billows reaches distant ears. 

i e raft of a god cannot come here, 

yr can a leaf of the lotus stay afloat. 

feless grass in the twilight drifts along the crooked banks. 

llow clouds conceal the sun to darken the long dikes. 

here can one find the traffic of merchants? 

as there been ever a shelter for fishermen? 

n the flat sand no wild geese descend; 

■om distant shores comes the crying of apes, 
nly the red smartweedflowers know this scene, 
isking in the white duckweed’s fragile scent. 

The Bodhisattva was looking over the river when suddenly a loud splash was heard, and from the midst of the waves leaped an ugly 
and ferocious monster. He appeared to have 

green, though not too green, 
id black, though not too black, 
ice of gloomy complexion; 
long, though not too long, 
id short, though not too short, 
newy body with naked feet. 

Is gleaming eyes 

\one like two lights beneath the stove. 

Is mouth, forked at the corners, 

as like a butcher's bloody bowl. 

ith teeth protruding like swords and knives, 

id red hair all disheveled, 

z bellowed once and it sounded like thunder, 

hile his legs sprinted like whirling wind. 

Holding in his hands a priestly staff, that fiendish creature ran up the bank and tried to seize the Bodhisattva. He was opposed, 
however, by Hui’an, who wielded his iron rod, crying, “Stop!”, but the fiendish creature raised his staff to meet him. So the two of 
them engaged in a fierce battle beside the Flowing Sand River, which was truly terrifying. 

ie iron rod of Moksa 

\splays its power to defend the Law; 

le monster-taming staff of the creature 

ibors to show its heroic might. 

vo silver pythons dance along the river’s bank. 

pair of godlike monks charge each other on the shore. 

tis one plies his talents as the forceful lord ofFlowing Sand. 

tat one, to attain great merit, protects Guanyin by strength. 

lis one churns up foam and stirs up waves. 

tat one belches fog and spits out wind. 

ie stirred-up foams and waves darken Heaven and Earth. 

le spat-out fog and wind make dim both sun and moon. 

i e monster-taming staff of this one 

like a white tiger emerging from the mountain; 

ie iron rod of that one 

like a yellow dragon lying on the way. 

hen used by one, 

lis weapon spreads open the grass and finds the snake, 
hen let loose by the other, 

mt weapon knocks down the kite and splits the pine, 
ley fight until the darkness thickens 
we for the glittering stars, 
id the fog looms up 
' obscure both sky and land. 

tis one, long a dweller in the Weak Water, is uniquely fierce, 
tat one, newly leaving the Spirit Mountain, seeks his first win. 

Back and forth along the river the two of them fought for twenty or thirty rounds without either prevailing, when the fiendish 
creature stilled the other’s iron rod and asked, “What region do you come from, monk, that you dare oppose me?” “I’m the second son 
of the Pagoda Bearer Devaraja,” said Moksa, “Moksa, Disciple Hui’an. I am serving as the guardian of my mentor, who is looking for 
a scripture pilgrim in the Land of the East. What kind of monster are you that you dare block our way?” “I remember,” said the 
monster, suddenly recognizing his opponent, “that you used to follow the Guanyin of the South Sea and practice austerities there in the 
bamboo grove. How did you get to this place?” “Don’t you realize,” said Moksa, “that she is my mentor—the one over there on the 

When the monster heard these words, he apologized repeatedly. Putting away his staff, he allowed Moksa to grasp him by the collar 
and lead him away. He lowered his head and bowed low to Guanyin, saying, “Bodhisattva, please forgive me and let me submit my 
explanation. I am no monster; rather, I am the Curtain-Raising General who waits upon the phoenix chariot of the Jade Emperor at the 
Divine Mists Hall. Because I carelessly broke a crystal cup at one of the Festivals of Immortal Peaches, the Jade Emperor gave me 
eight hundred lashes, banished me to the Region Below, and changed me into my present shape. Every seventh day he sends a flying 
sword to stab my breast and side more than a hundred times before it leaves me. Hence my present wretchedness! Moreover, the 
hunger and cold are unbearable, and I am driven every few days to come out of the waves and find a traveler for food. I certainly did 
not expect that my ignorance would today lead me to offend the great, merciful Bodhisattva.” 

“Because of your sin in Heaven,” said the Bodhisattva, “you were banished. Yet the taking of life in your present manner surely is 
adding sin to sin. By the decree of Buddha, I am on my way to the Land of the East to find a scripture pilgrim. Why don’t you come 

into my fold, take refuge in good works, and follow the scripture pilgrim as his disciple when he goes to the Western Heaven to ask 
Buddha for the scriptures? I'll order the flying sword to stop piercing you. At the time when you achieve merit, your sin will be 
expiated and you will be restored to your former position. How do you feel about that?” “I’m willing,” said the monster, “to seek 
refuge in right action.” He said also, “Bodhisattva, 1 have devoured countless human beings at this place. There have even been a 
number of scripture pilgrims here, and I ate all of them. The heads of those I devoured I threw into the Flowing Sand, and they sank to 
the bottom, for such is the nature of this water that not even goose down can float on it. But the skulls of the nine pilgrims floated on 
the water and would not sink. Regarding them as something unusual, I chained them together with a rope and played with them at my 
leisure. If this becomes known, I fear that no other scripture pilgrim will want to come this way. Won’t it jeopardize my future?” 

“Not come this way? How absurd!” said the Bodhisattva. “You may take the skulls and hang them round your neck. When the 
scripture pilgrim arrives, there will be a use for them.” “If that’s the case,” said the monster, “I’m now willing to receive your 
instructions.” The Bodhisattva then touched the top of his head and gave him the commandments. 21 ’ The sand was taken to be a sign, 
and he was given the surname “Sha” and the religious name “Wujing,” 27 and that was how he entered the Gate of Sand. 23 After he had 
seen the Bodhisattva on her way, he washed his heart and purified himself; he never took life again but waited attentively for the 
arrival of the scripture pilgrim. 

So the Bodhisattva parted with him and went with Moksa toward the Land of the East. They traveled for a long time and came upon 
a high mountain, which was covered by miasma so foul that they could not ascend it on foot. They were just about to mount the clouds 
and pass over it when a sudden blast of violent wind brought into view another monster of most ferocious appearance. Look at his 

ps curled and twisted like dried lotus leaves; 
irs like rush-leaf fans and hard, gleaming eyes; 
aping teeth as sharp as a fine steel file s; 
long mouth wide open like a fire pot. 
gold cap is fastened with bands by the cheek, 
raps on his armor seem like scaleless snakes. 

? holds a rake—a dragon's outstretched claws; 

•om his waist hangs a bow of half-moon shape, 
is awesome presence and his prideful mien 
zfy the deities and daunt the gods. 

He rushed up toward the two travelers and, without regard for good or ill, lifted the rake and brought it down hard on the 
Bodhisattva. But he was met by Disciple Hui’an, who cried with a loud voice, “Reckless monster! Desist from this insolence! Look out 
for my rod!” “This monk,” said the monster, “doesn’t know any better! Look out for my rake!” The two of them clashed together at the 
foot of the mountain to discover who was to be the victor. It was a magnificent battle! 

ie monster is fierce. 

Hi ’an is powerful. 

ie iron rod jabs at the heart; 

i e muckrake swipes at the face. 

•raying mud and splattering dust darken Heaven and Earth; 
ying sand and hurling rocks scare demons and gods, 
ie nine-teeth rake, 
l burnished, 

tudly jingles with double rings; 

ie single rod, 

ack throughout, 

laps and flies in both hands. 

lis one is the prince of a Devardja; 

tat one is the spirit of a grand marshal. 

lis one defends the faith at Potalaka; 

tat one lives in a cave as a monster. 

eeting this time they rush to fight, 

)t knowing who shall lose and who shall win. 

At the very height of their battle, Guanyin threw down some lotus flowers from midair, separating the rod from the rake. Alarmed by 
what he saw, the fiendish creature asked, “What region are you from, monk, that you dare to play this ‘flower-in-the-eye’ trick on me?” 
“Cursed beast of fleshly eyes and mortal stock!” said Moksa. “I am the disciple of the Bodhisattva from South Sea, and these are lotus 
flowers thrown down by my mentor. Don’t you recognize them?” “The Bodhisattva from South Sea?” asked the fiend. “Is she Guanyin 
who sweeps away the three calamities and rescues us from the eight disasters?” “Who else,” said Moksa, “if not she?” The fiend threw 
away his muckrake, lowered his head, and bowed, saying, “Venerable brother! Where is the Bodhisattva? Please be so good as to 
introduce me to her.” Moksa raised his head and pointed upward, saying, “Isn’t she up there?” “Bodhisattva!” the fiend kowtowed 
toward her and cried with a loud voice, “Pardon my sin! Pardon my sin!” 

Guanyin lowered the direction of her cloud and came to ask him, “What region are you from, wild boar who has become a spirit or 
old sow who has become a fiend, that you dare bar my way?” “I am neither a wild boar,” said the fiend, “nor am I an old sow! I was 
originally the Marshal of the Heavenly Reeds in the Heavenly River. 22 Because I got drunk and dallied with the Goddess of the 
Moon, 30 the Jade Emperor had me beaten with a mallet two thousand times and banished me to the world of dust. My true spirit was 
seeking the proper home for my next incarnation when I lost my way, passed through the womb of an old sow, and ended up with a 
shape like this! Having bitten the sow to death and killed the rest of the litter, I took over this mountain ranch and passed my days 
eating people. Little did I expect to run into the Bodhisattva. Save me, I implore you! Save me!” 

“What is the name of this mountain?” asked the Bodhisattva. 

“It’s called the Mountain of the Blessed Mound,” said the fiendish creature, “and there is a cave in it by the name of Cloudy Paths. 
There was a Second Elder Sister Egg originally in the cave. She saw that I knew something of the martial art and therefore asked me to 
be the head of the family, following the so-called practice of ‘standing backward in the door.’ 31 After less than a year, she died, leaving 
me to enjoy the possession of her entire cave. I have spent many days and years at this place, but I know no means of supporting 
myself and I pass the time eating people. I implore the Bodhisattva to pardon my sin.” 

The Bodhisattva said, “There is an old saying: 

you want to have a future, 
on’t act heedless of the future. 

You have already transgressed in the Region Above, and yet you have not changed your violent ways but indulge in the taking of life. 
Don’t you know that both crimes will be punished?” 

‘‘The future! The future!” said the fiend. “If I listen to you, I might as well feed on the wind! The proverb says, 

you follow the law of the court, you ’ll be beaten to death; 
you follow the law of Buddha, you ’ll be starved to death! 

Let me go! Let me go! I would much prefer catching a few travelers and munching on the plump and juicy lady of the family. Why 
should I care about two crimes, three crimes, a thousand crimes, or ten thousand crimes?” “There is a saying,” said the Bodhisattva, 

man with good intent 
ill win Heaven s assent. 

If you are willing to return to the fruits of truth, there will be means to sustain your body. There are five kinds of grain in this world 
and they all can relieve hunger. Why do you need to pass the time by devouring humans?” 

When the fiend heard these words, he was like one who woke from a dream, and he said to the Bodhisattva, “I would very much like 
to follow the truth. But ‘since I have offended Heaven, even my prayers are of little avail.’” 32 “I have received the decree from Buddha 
to go to the Land of the East to find a scripture pilgrim,” said the Bodhisattva. “You can follow him as his disciple and make a trip to 
the Western Heaven; your merit will cancel out your sins, and you will surely be delivered from your calamities.” “I’m willing. I’m 
willing,” promised the fiend with enthusiasm. The Bodhisattva then touched his head and gave him the instructions. Pointing to his 
body as a sign, she gave him the surname “Zhu” and the religious name “Wuneng.” 33 From that moment on, he accepted the 
commandment to return to the real. He fasted and ate only a vegetable diet, abstaining from the five forbidden viands and the three 
undesirable foods ’ 4 so as to wait single-mindedly for the scripture pilgrim. 

The Bodhisattva and Moksa took leave of Wuneng and proceeded again halfway between cloud and mist. As they were journeying, 
they saw in midair a young dragon calling for help. The Bodhisattva drew near and asked, “What dragon are you, and why are you 
suffering here?” The dragon said, “I am the son of Aorun, Dragon King of the Western Ocean. Because I inadvertently set fire to the 
palace and burned some of the pearls therein, my father the king memorialized to the Court of Heaven and charged me with grave 
disobedience. The Jade Emperor hung me in the sky and gave me three hundred lashes, and I shall be executed in a few days. I beg the 
Bodhisattva to save me.” 

When Guanyin heard these words, she rushed with Moksa up to the South Heaven Gate. She was received by Qiu and Zhang, the 
two Celestial Masters, who asked her, “Where are you going?” “This humble cleric needs to have an audience with the Jade Emperor,” 
said the Bodhisattva. The two Celestial Masters promptly made the report, and the Jade Emperor left the hall to receive her. After 
presenting her greetings, the Bodhisattva said, “By the decree of Buddha, this humble cleric is journeying to the Land of the East to 
find a scripture pilgrim. On the way I met a mischievous dragon hanging in the sky. I have come specially to beg you to spare his life 
and grant him to me. He can be a good means of transportation for the scripture pilgrim.” When the Jade Emperor heard these words, 
he at once gave the decree of pardon, ordering the Heavenly sentinels to release the dragon to the Bodhisattva. The Bodhisattva 
thanked the Emperor, while the young dragon also kowtowed to the Bodhisattva to thank her for saving his life and pledged obedience 
to her command. The Bodhisattva then sent hint to live in a deep mountain stream with the instruction that when the scripture pilgrim 
should arrive, he was to change into a white horse and go to the Western Heaven. The young dragon obeyed the order and hid himself, 
and we shall speak no more of him for the moment. 

The Bodhisattva then led Moksa past the mountain, and they headed again toward the Land of the East. They had not traveled long 
before they suddenly came upon ten thousand shafts of golden light and a thousand layers of radiant vapor. “Teacher,” said Moksa, 
“that luminous place must be the Mountain of Five Phases. I can see the tag of Tathagata imprinted on it.” “So, beneath this place,” 
said the Bodhisattva, “is where the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, who disturbed Heaven and the Festival of Immortal Peaches, is being 
imprisoned.” “Yes, indeed,” said Moksa. The mentor and her disciple ascended the mountain and looked at the tag, on which was 
inscribed the divine words Om mani padme hum. When the Bodhisattva saw this, she could not help sighing, and composed the 
following poem: 

ue the impish ape not heeding the Law, 
ho let loose wild heroics in bygone years. 

Is mind puffed up, he wrecked the Peach Banquet 
id boldly stole in Tushita Palace. 

2 found no worthy match in ten thousand troops; 
trough Ninefold Heaven he displayed his power. 

Iprisoned now by Sovereign Tathagata, 

hen will he be free to show once more his might? 

As mentor and disciple were speaking, they disturbed the Great Sage, who shouted from the base of the mountain, “Who is up there 
on the mountain composing verses to expose my faults?” When the Bodhisattva heard those words, she came down the mountain to 
take a look. There beneath the rocky ledges were the local spirit, the mountain god, and the Heavenly sentinels guarding the Great 
Sage. They all came and bowed to receive the Bodhisattva, leading her before the Great Sage. She looked and saw that he was pinned 
down in a kind of stone box: though he could speak, he could not move his body. “You whose name is Sun,” said the Bodhisattva, “do 
you recognize me?” 

The Great Sage opened wide his fiery eyes and diamond pupils and nodded. “How could I not recognize you?” he cried. “You are 
the Mighty Deliverer, the Great Compassionate Bodhisattva Guanyin from the Potalaka Mountain of the South Sea. Thank you, thank 
you for coming to see me! At this place every day is like a year, for not a single acquaintance has ever come to visit me. Where did you 
come from?” 

“I have received the decree from Buddha,” said the Bodhisattva, “to go to the Land of the East to find a scripture pilgrim. Since I 
was passing through here, I rested my steps briefly to see you.” 

“Tathagata deceived me,” said the Great Sage, “and imprisoned me beneath this mountain. For over five hundred years already I 
have not been able to move. I implore the Bodhisattva to show a little mercy and rescue old Monkey!” “Your sinful karma is very 
deep,” said the Bodhisattva. “If I rescue you, I fear that you will again perpetrate violence, and that will be bad indeed.” “Now I know 
the meaning of penitence,” said the Great Sage. “So I entreat the Great Compassion to show me the proper path, for I am willing to 
practice cultivation.” Truly it is that 

ne wish born in the heart of man 
known throughout Heaven and Earth, 
vice or virtue lacks reward, 
njust must be the universe. 

When the Bodhisattva heard those words from the prisoner, she was filled with pleasure and said to the Great Sage, “The scripture 

hen a good word is spoken, 
i answer will come from beyond a thousand miles; 
hen an evil word is spoken, 

>position will hail from beyond a thousand miles. 

If you have such a purpose, wait until I reach the Great Tang Nation in the Land of the East and find the scripture pilgrim. He will be 
told to come and rescue you, and you can follow him as a disciple. You shall keep the teachings and hold the rosary to enter our gate of 
Buddha, so that you may again cultivate the fruits of righteousness. Will you do that?” “I’m willing, I’m willing,” said the Great Sage 

“If you are indeed seeking the fruits of virtue,” said the Bodhisattva, “let me give you a religious name.” “I have one already,” said 
the Great Sage, “and I’m called Sun Wukong.” “There were two persons before you who came into our faith,” said the delighted 
Bodhisattva, “and their names, too, are built on the word ‘Wu.’ Your name will agree with theirs perfectly, and that is splendid indeed. 

I need not give you any more instruction, for I must be going.” So our Great Sage, with manifest nature and enlightened mind, returned 
to the Buddhist faith, while our Bodhisattva, with attention and diligence, sought the divine monk. 

She left the place with Moksa and proceeded straight to the east; in a few days they reached Chang’an of the Great Tang Nation. 
Forsaking the mist and abandoning the cloud, mentor and disciple changed themselves into two wandering monks covered with scabby 
sores 35 and went into the city. It was already dusk. As they walked through one of the main streets, they saw a temple of the local spirit. 
They both went straight in, alarming the spirit and the demon guards, who recognized the Bodhisattva. They kowtowed to receive her, 
and the local spirit then ran quickly to report to the city’s guardian deity, the god of the soil, and the spirits of various temples of 
Chang’an. When they learned that it was the Bodhisattva, they all came to pay homage, saying, “Bodhisattva, please pardon us for 
being tardy in our reception.” “None of you,” said the Bodhisattva, “should let a word of this leak out! I came here by the special 
decree of Buddha to look for a scripture pilgrim. I would like to stay just for a few days in one of your temples, and I shall depart when 
the true monk is found.” The various deities went back to their own places, but they sent the local spirit off to the residence of the 
city’s guardian deity so that the teacher and the disciple could remain incognito in the spirit’s temple. 


Chen Guangrui, going to his post, meets disaster; 

Monk River Float, avenging his parents, repays his roots. 

We now tell you about the city of Chang’an in the great nation’s Shaanxi Province, which was the place that kings and emperors from 
generation to generation had made their capital. Since the periods of Zhou, Qin, and Han, 

tree counties of flowers bloomed like brocade, 
id eight rivers * flowed encircling the city. 

It was truly a land of great scenic beauty. At this time the emperor Taizong 2 of the Great Tang dynasty was on the throne, and the name 
of his reign was Zhenguan. He had been ruling now for thirteen years, and the cyclical name of the year was Jisi. J The whole land was 
at peace: people came bearing tributes from eight directions, and the inhabitants of the whole world called themselves his subjects. 

One day Taizong ascended his throne and assembled his civil and military officials. After they had paid him homage, the prime 
minister Wei Zheng 4 left the ranks and came forward to memorialize to the Throne, saying, “Since the world now is at peace and 
tranquility reigns everywhere, we should follow the ancient custom and establish sites for civil examinations, so that we may invite 
worthy scholars to come here and select those talents who will best serve the work of administration and government.” “Our worthy 
subject has voiced a sound principle in his memorial,” said Taizong. He therefore issued a summons to be proclaimed throughout the 
empire: in every prefecture, county, and town, those who were learned in the Confucian classics, who could write with ease and 
lucidity, and who had passed the three sessions of examination, 5 regardless of whether they were soldiers or peasants, would be invited 
to go to Chang’an to take the imperial examination. 

This summons reached the place Haizhou, where it was seen by a certain man named Chen E (with the courtesy name of Guangrui), 
who then went straight home to talk to his mother, whose maiden name was Zhang. “The court,” he said, “has sent a yellow summons, 
declaring in these southern provinces that there will be examinations for the selection of the worthy and the talented. Your child wishes 
to try out at such an examination, for if I manage to acquire an appointment, or even half a post, I would become more of a credit to 
my parents, magnify our name, give my wife a title, benefit my son, and bring glory to this house of ours. Such is the aspiration of 
your son: I wish to tell my mother plainly before I leave.” “My son,” said she of the Zhang family, “an educated person Teams when 
he is young, but leaves when he is grown.’ You should indeed follow this maxim. But as you go to the examination, you must be 
careful on the way, and, when you have secured a post, come home quickly.” So Guangrui gave instmctions for his family page to pack 
his bags, took leave of his mother, and began his journey. When he reached Chang’an, the examination site had just been opened, and 
he went straight in. He took the preliminary tests, passed them, and went to the court examination, where in three sessions on 
administrative policy he took first place, receiving the title “zhuangyuan,” the certificate of which was signed by the Tang emperor’s 
own hand. As was the custom, he was led through the streets on horseback for three days. 

The procession at one point passed by the house of the chief minister, Yin Kaishan, who had a daughter named Wenjiao, nicknamed 
Mantangjiao (A Hall of Loveliness). She was not yet married, and at this time she was just about to throw down an embroidered ball 
from high up on a festooned tower in order to select her spouse. It happened that Chen Guangmi was passing below the tower. When 
the young maiden saw Guangmi’s outstanding appearance and knew that he was the recent zhuangyuan of the examinations, she was 
very pleased. She threw down the embroidered ball, which just happened to hit the black gauze hat of Guangmi. Immediately lively 
music of pipes and flutes could be heard throughout the area as scores of maids and serving-girls ran down from the tower, took hold 
of the bridle of Guangmi’s horse, and led him into the residence of the chief minister for the wedding. The chief minister and his wife 
at once came out of their chambers, called together the guests and the master of ceremonies, and gave the girl to Guangmi as his bride. 
Together, they bowed to Heaven and Earth; then husband and wife bowed to each other, before bowing to the father- and mother-in- 
law. The chief minister then gave a big banquet and everyone feasted merrily for a whole evening, after which the two of them walked 
hand in hand into the bridal chamber. 

At the fifth watch early next morning, Taizong took his seat in the Treasure Hall of Golden Chimes as civil and military officials 
attended the court. Taizong asked, “What appointment should the new zhuangyuan receive?” The prime minister Wei Zheng said, 
“Your subject has discovered that within our territory there is a vacancy at Jiangzhou. I beg my Lord to grant him this post.” Taizong at 
once made him governor of Jiangzhou and ordered him to leave without delay. After thanking the emperor and leaving the court, 
Guangmi went back to the house of the chief minister to inform his wife. He took leave of his father- and mother-in-law and proceeded 
with his wife to the new post at Jiangzhou. 

As they left Chang’an and went on their journey, the season was late spring: 

soft wind blew to green the willows; 
fine rain spotted to redden the flowers. 

As his home was on the way, Guangmi returned to his house where husband and wife bowed together to his mother, Lady Zhang. 
“Congratulations, my son,” said she of the Zhang family, “you even came back with a wife!” “Your child,” said Guangmi, “relied on 
the power of your blessing and was able to attain the undeserved honor of zhuangyuan. By imperial command I was making a tour of 
the streets when, as I passed by the mansion of Chief Minister Yin, I was hit by an embroidered ball. The chief minister kindly gave his 
daughter to your child to be his wife, and His Majesty appointed hint governor of Jiangzhou. I have returned to take you with me to the 
post.” She of the Zhang family was delighted and packed at once for the journey. 

They had been on the road for a few days when they came to stay at the Inn of Ten Thousand Flowers, kept by a certain Liu Xiaoer. 
She of the Zhang family suddenly became ill and said to Guangmi, “I don’t feel well at all. Let’s rest here for a day or two before we 
journey again.” Guangmi obeyed. Next morning there was a man outside the inn holding a golden carp for sale, which Guangmi 
bought for a string of coins. He was about to have it cooked for his mother when he saw that the carp was blinking its eyes vigorously. 

In astonishment, Guangrui said, “I have heard that when a fish or a snake blinks its eyes in this manner, that’s the sure sign that it’s not 
an ordinary creature!” He therefore asked the fisherman, “Where did you catch this fish?” “I caught it,” said the fisherman, “from the 
river Hong, some fifteen miles from this district.” Accordingly, Guangrui sent the live fish back to the river and returned to the inn to 
tell his mother about it. “It is a good deed to release living creatures from captivity,” said she of the Zhang family. “I am very pleased.” 
“We have stayed in this inn now for three days,” said Guangrui. “The imperial command is an urgent one. Your child intends to leave 
tomorrow, but he would like to know whether mother has fully recovered.” She of the Zhang family said, “I’m still not well, and the 
heat on the journey at this time of year, I fear, will only add to my illness. Why don’t you rent a house for me to stay here temporarily 
and leave me an allowance? The two of you can proceed to your new post. By autumn, when it’s cool, you can come fetch me.” 
Guangrui discussed the matter with his wife; they duly rented a house for her and left some cash with her, after which they took leave 
and left. 

They felt the fatigue of traveling, journeying by day and resting by night, and they soon came to the crossing of the Hong River, 
where two boatmen, Liu Hong and Li Biao, took them into their boat. It happened that Guangrui was destined in his previous 
incarnation to meet this calamity, and so he had to come upon these fated enemies of his. After ordering the houseboy to put the 
luggage on the boat, Guangrui and his wife were just about to embark when Liu Hong noticed the beauty of Lady Yin, who had a face 
like a full moon, eyes like autumnal water, a small, cherrylike mouth, and a tiny, willowlike waist. Her features were striking enough to 
sink fishes and drop wild geese, and her complexion would cause the moon to hide and put the flowers to shame. Stirred at once to 
cruelty, he plotted with Li Biao; together they punted the boat to an isolated area and waited until the middle of the night. They killed 
the houseboy first, and then they beat Guangrui to death, pushing both bodies into the water. When the lady saw that they had killed 
her husband, she made a dive for the water, but Liu Hong threw his arms around her and caught her. “If you consent to my demand,” 
he said, “everything will be all right. If you do not, this knife will cut you in two!” Unable to think of any better plan, the lady had to 
give her consent for the time being and yielded herself to Liu Hong. The thief took the boat to the south bank, where he turned the boat 
over to the care of Li Biao. He himself put on Guangrui’s cap and robe, took his credentials, and proceeded with the lady to the post at 

We should now tell you that the body of the houseboy killed by Liu Hong drifted away with the current. The body of Chen 
Guangrui, however, sank to the bottom of the water and stayed there. A yaksa on patrol at the mouth of the Hong River saw it and 
rushed into the Dragon Palace. The Dragon King was just holding court when the yaksa entered to report, saying, “A scholar has been 
beaten to death at the mouth of the Hong River by some unknown person, and his body is now lying at the bottom of the water.” The 
Dragon King had the corpse brought in and laid before him. He took a careful look at it and said, “But this man was my benefactor! 
How could he have been murdered? As the common saying goes, ‘Kindness should be paid by kindness.’ I must save his life today so 
that I may repay the kindness of yesterday.” He at once issued an official dispatch, sending a yaksa to deliver it to the municipal deity 
and local spirit of Hongzhou, and asked for the soul of the scholar so that his life might be saved. The municipal deity and the local 
spirit in turn ordered the little demons to hand over the soul of Chen Guangrui to the yaksa, who led the soul back to the Water Crystal 
Palace for an audience with the Dragon King. 

“Scholar,” asked the Dragon King, “what is your name? Where did you come from? Why did you come here, and for what reason 
were you beaten to death?” Guangrui saluted him and said, “This lowly student is named Chen E, and my courtesy name is Guangrui. I 
am from the Hongnong district of Haizhou. As the unworthy zhuangyuan of the recent session of examination, I was appointed by the 
court to be governor of Jiangzhou, and I was going to my post with my wife. When I took a boat at the river, I did not expect the 
boatman, Liu Hong, to covet my wife and plot against me. He beat me to death and tossed out my body. I beg the Great King to save 
me.” Hearing these words, the Dragon King said, “So, that’s it! Good sir, the golden carp that you released earlier was myself. You are 
my benefactor. You may be in dire difficulty at the moment, but is there any reason why I should not come to your assistance?” He 
therefore laid the body of Guangrui to one side, and put a preservative pearl in his mouth so that his body would not deteriorate but be 
reunited with his soul to avenge himself in the future. He also said, “Your true soul may remain temporarily in my Water Bureau as an 
officer.” Guangrui kowtowed to thank him, and the Dragon King prepared a banquet to entertain him, but we shall say no more about 

We now tell you that Lady Yin hated the bandit Liu so bitterly that she wished she could devour his flesh and sleep on his skin! But 
because she was with child and did not know whether it would be a boy or a girl, she had no alternative but to yield reluctantly to her 
captor. In a little while they arrived at Zhiangzhou; the clerks and the lictors all came to meet them, and all the subordinate officials 
gave a banquet for them at the governor’s mansion. Liu Hong said, “Having come here, a student like me is utterly dependent on the 
support and assistance of you gentlemen.” “Your Honor,” replied the officials, “is first in the examinations and a major talent. You will, 
of course, regard your people as your children; your public declarations will be as simple as your settlement of litigation is fair. We 
subordinates are all dependent on your leadership, so why should you be unduly modest?” When the official banquet ended, the people 
all left. 

Time passed by swiftly. One day, Liu Hong went far away on official business, while Lady Yin at the mansion was thinking of her 
mother-in-law and her husband and sighing in the garden pavilion. Suddenly she was seized by tremendous fatigue and sharp pains in 
her belly. Falling unconscious to the ground, she gave birth to a son. Presently she heard someone whispering in her ear: “Mantangjiao, 
listen carefully to what I have to say. I am the Star Spirit of South Pole, who sends you this son by the express command of the 
Bodhisattva Guanyin. One day his name will be known far and wide, for he is not to be compared with an ordinary mortal. But when 
the bandit Liu returns, he will surely try to harm the child, and you must take care to protect him. Your husband has been rescued by 
the Dragon King; in the future both of you will meet again even as son and mother will be reunited. A day will come when wrongs will 
be redressed and crimes punished. Remember my words! Wake up! Wake up!” The voice ceased and departed. The lady woke up and 
remembered every word; she clasped her son tightly to her but could devise no plan to protect him. Liu Hong then returned and wanted 
to have the child killed by drowning the moment he saw him. The lady said, “Today it’s late already. Allow him to live till tomorrow 
and then have him thrown into the river.” 

It was fortunate that Liu Hong was called away by urgent business the next morning. The lady thought to herself: “If this child is 

here when that bandit returns, his life is finished! I might as well abandon him now to the river, and let life or death take its own 
course. Perhaps Heaven, taking pity on him, will send someone to his rescue and to have him cared for. Then we may have a chance to 
meet again.” She was afraid, however, that future recognition would be difficult; so she bit her finger and wrote a letter with her blood, 
stating in detail the names of the parents, the family history, and the reason for the child’s abandonment. She also bit off a little toe 
from the child’s left foot to establish a mark of his identity. Taking one of her own inner garments she wrapped the child and took him 
out of the mansion when no one was watching. Fortunately the mansion was not far from the river. Reaching the bank, the lady burst 
into tears and wailed long and loud. She was about to toss the child into the river when she caught sight of a plank floating by the river 
bank. At once she prayed to Heaven, after which she placed the child on the plank and tied him securely to it with some rope. She 
fastened the letter written in blood to his chest, pushed the plank out into the water, and let it drift away. With tears in her eyes, the lady 
went back to the mansion, but we shall say no more of that. 

Now we shall tell you about the boy on the plank, which floated with the current until it came to a standstill just beneath the Temple 
of Gold Mountain. The abbot of this temple was called Monk Faming. In the cultivation of perfection and comprehension of truth, he 
had attained already the wondrous secret of birthlessness. He was sitting in meditation when all at once he heard an infant crying. 
Moved by this, he went quickly down to the river to have a look, and discovered the baby lying there on a plank at the edge of the 
water. The abbot quickly lifted him out of the water. When he read the letter in blood fastened to his chest, he learned of the child’s 
origin. He then gave him the baby name River Float 6 and arranged for someone to nurse and care for him, while he himself kept the 
letter written in blood safely hidden. Time passed by like an arrow, and the seasons like a weaver’s shuttle; River Float soon reached 
his eighteenth year. The abbot had his hair shaved and asked him to join in the practice of austerities, giving him the religious name 
Xuanzang. Having had his head touched and having received the commandments, Xuanzang pursued the Way with great 

One day in late spring, the various monks gathered in the shade of pine trees were discussing the canons of Chan and debating the 
fine points of the mysteries. One feckless monk, who happened to have been completely outwitted by Xuanzang’s questions, shouted 
angrily, “You damnable beast! You don’t even know your own name, and you are ignorant of your own parents! Why are you still 
hanging around here playing tricks on people?” When Xuanzang heard such language of rebuke, he went into the temple and knelt 
before the master, saying with tears flowing from his eyes, “Though a human being bom into this world receives his natural 
endowments from the forces of yin and yang and from the Five Phases, he is always nurtured by his parents. How can there be a 
person in this world who has no father or mother?” Repeatedly and piteously he begged for the names of his parents. The abbot said, 
“If you truly wish to seek your parents, you may follow me to my cell.” Xuanzang duly followed him to his cell, where, from the top of 
a heavy crossbeam, the abbot took down a small box. Opening the box, he took out a letter written in blood and an inner garment and 
gave them to Xuanzang. Only after he had unfolded the letter and read it did Xuanzang learn the names of his parents and understand 
in detail the wrongs that had been done them. 

When Xuanzang finished reading, he fell weeping to the floor, saying, “How can anyone be worthy to bear the name of man if he 
cannot avenge the wrongs done to his parents? For eighteen years, I have been ignorant of my tme parents, and only this day have I 
learned that I have a mother! And yet, would I have even reached this day if my master had not saved me and cared for me? Permit 
your disciple to go seek my mother. Thereafter, I will rebuild this temple with an incense bowl on my head, and repay the profound 
kindness of my teacher.” “If you desire to seek your mother,” said the master, “you may take this letter in blood and the inner garment 
with you. Go as a mendicant monk to the private quarters at the governor’s mansion of Jiangzhou. You will then be able to meet your 

Xuanzang followed the words of his master and went to Jiangzhou as a mendicant monk. It happened that Liu Hong was out on 
business, for Heaven had planned that mother and child should meet. Xuanzang went straight to the door of the private quarters of the 
governor’s mansion to beg for alms. Lady Yin, you see, had had a dream the night before in which she saw a waning moon become full 
again. She thought to herself, “I have no news from my mother-in-law; my husband was murdered by this bandit; my son was thrown 
into the river. If by chance someone rescued him and had him cared for, he must be eighteen by now. Perhaps Heaven wished us to be 
reunited today. Who can tell?” 

As she was pondering the matter in her heart, she suddenly heard someone reciting the scriptures outside her residence and crying 
repeatedly, “Alms! Alms!” At a convenient moment, the lady slipped out and asked him, “Where did you come from?” “Your poor 
monk,” said Xuanzang, “is the disciple of Faming, abbot of the Temple of Gold Mountain.” “So you are the disciple of the abbot of 
that temple?” she asked and invited him into the mansion and served him some vegetables and rice. Watching him closely, she noticed 
that in speech and manner he bore a remarkable resemblance to her husband. The lady sent her maid away and then asked, “Young 
master! Did you leave your family as a child or when you grew up? What are your given name and your surname? Do you have any 
parents?” “I did not leave my family when I was young,” replied Xuanzang, “nor did I do so when I grew up. To tell you the truth, I 
have a wrong to avenge great as the sky, an enmity deep as the sea. My father was a murder victim, and my mother was taken by force. 
My master the abbot Faming told me to seek my mother in the governor’s mansion of Jiangzhou.” 

“What is your mother’s surname?” asked the lady. “My mother’s surname is Yin,” said Xuanzang, “and her given name is Wenjiao. 
My father’s surname is Chen and his given name is Guangrui. My nickname is River Float, but my religious name is Xuanzang.” 

“I am Wenjiao,” said the lady, “but what proof have you of your identity?” When Xuanzang heard that she was his mother, he fell to 
his knees and wept most grievously. “If my own mother doesn’t believe me,” he said, “you may see the proof in this letter written in 
blood and this inner garment.” Wenjiao took them in her hands, and one look told her that they were the real things. Mother and child 
embraced each other and wept. 

Lady Yin then cried, “My son, leave at once!” “For eighteen years I have not known my true parents,” said Xuanzang, “and I’ve 
seen my mother for the first time only this morning. How could your son bear so swift a separation?” “My son,” said the lady, “leave at 
once, as if you were on fire! If that bandit Liu returns, he will surely take your life. I shall pretend to be ill tomorrow and say that I 
must go to your temple and fulfill a vow I made in a previous year to donate a hundred pairs of monk shoes. At that time I shall have 
more to say to you.” Xuanzang followed her bidding and bowed to take leave of her. 

We were speaking of Lady Yin, who, having seen her son, was filled with both anxiety and joy. The next day, under the pretext of 
being sick, she lay on her bed and would take neither tea nor rice. Liu Hong returned to the mansion and questioned her. “When I was 
young,” said Lady Yin, “I vowed to donate a hundred pairs of monk shoes. Five days ago, I dreamed that a monk demanded those 
shoes of me, holding a knife in his hand. From then on, I did not feel well.” “Such a small matter!” said Liu Hong. “Why didn't you 
tell me earlier?” He at once went up to the governor’s hall and gave the order to his stewards Wang and Li that a hundred families of 
the city were each to bring in a pair of monk shoes within five days. The families obeyed and completed their presentations. “Now that 
we have the shoes,” said Lady Yin to Liu Hong, “what kind of temple do we have nearby that I can go to fulfill my vow?” Liu Hong 
said, “There is a Temple of Gold Mountain here in Jiangzhou as well as a Temple of Burned Mountain. You may go to whichever one 
you choose.” “I have long heard,” said the lady, “that the Temple of Gold Mountain is avery good one. I shall go there.” Liu Hong at 
once gave the order to his stewards Wang and Li to prepare a boat. Lady Yin took a trusted companion with her and boarded the boat. 
The boatmen poled it away from the shore and headed for the Temple of Gold Mountain. 

We now tell you about Xuanzang, who returned to the temple and told the abbot Faming what had happened. The next day, a young 
housemaid arrived to announce that her mistress was coming to the temple to fulfill a vow she had made. All the monks came out of 
the temple to receive her. The lady went straight inside to worship the Bodhisattva and to give a great vegetarian banquet. She ordered 
the housemaid to put the monk shoes and stockings in trays and have them brought into the main ceremonial hall. After the lady had 
again worshipped with extreme devoutness, she asked the abbot Faming to distribute the gifts to the various monks before they 
dispersed. When Xuanzang saw that all the monks had left and that there was no one else in the hall, he drew near and knelt down. The 
lady asked him to remove his shoes and stockings, and she saw that there was, indeed, a small toe missing from his left foot. Once 
again, the two of them embraced and wept. They also thanked the abbot for his kindness in fostering the youth. 

Faming said, “I fear that the present meeting of mother and child may become known to that wily bandit. You must leave speedily so 
that you may avoid any harm.” “My son,” the lady said, “let me give you an incense ring. Go to Hongzhou, about fifteen hundred 
miles northwest of here, where you will find the Ten Thousand Flowers Inn. Earlier we left an aged woman there whose maiden name 
is Zhang and who is the true mother of your father. I have also written a letter for you to take to the capital of the Tang emperor. To the 
left of the Golden Palace is the house of Chief Minister Yin, who is the true father of your mother. Give my letter to your maternal 
grandfather, and ask him to request the Tang emperor to dispatch men and horses to have this bandit arrested and executed, so that your 
father may be avenged. Only then will you be able to rescue your old mother. I dare not linger now, for I fear that knave may be 
offended by my returning late.” She went out of the temple, boarded the boat, and left. 

Xuanzang returned weeping to the temple. He told his master everything and bowed to take leave of him immediately. Going 
straight to Hongzhou, he came to the Ten Thousand Flowers Inn and addressed the innkeeper, Liu Xiaoer, saying, “In a previous year 
there was an honored guest here by the name of Chen whose mother remained at your inn. How is she now?” “Originally,” said Liu 
Xiaoer, “she stayed in my inn. Afterwards she went blind, and for three or four years did not pay me any rent. She now lives in a 
dilapidated potter’s kiln near the Southern Gate, and every day she goes begging on the streets. Once that honored guest had left, he 
was gone for a long time, and even now there is no news of him whatever. I can’t understand it.” 

When Xuanzang heard this, he went at once to the dilapidated potter’s kiln at the Southern Gate and found his grandmother. The 
grandmother said, “Your voice sounds very much like that of my son Chen Guangrui.” “I’m not Chen Guangrui,” said Xuanzang, “but 
only his son! Lady Wenjiao is my mother.” “Why didn’t your father and mother come back?” asked the grandmother. “My father was 
beaten to death by bandits,” said Xuanzang, “and one of them forced my mother to be his wife.” “How did you know where to find 
me?” asked the grandmother. “It was my mother,” answered Xuanzang, “who told me to seek my grandmother. There’s a letter from 
mother here and there’s also an incense ring.” 

The grandmother took the letter and the incense ring and wept without restraint. “For merit and reputation,” she said, “my son came 
to this! I thought that he had turned his back on righteousness and had forgotten parental kindness. How should I know that he was 
murdered? Fortunately, Heaven remembered me at least in pity, and this day a grandson has come to seek me out.” 

“Grandmother,” asked Xuanzang, “how did you go blind?” “Because I thought so often about your father,” said the grandmother. “I 
waited for him daily, but he did not return. I wept until I was blind in both eyes.” Xuanzang knelt down and prayed to Heaven, saying, 
“Have regard of Xuanzang who, at the age of eighteen, has not yet avenged the wrong done to his parents. By the command of my 
mother, I came this day to find my grandmother. If Heaven would take pity on my sincerity, grant that the eyes of my grandmother 
regain their sight.” When he finished his petition, he licked the eyes of his grandmother with the tip of his tongue. In a moment, both 
eyes were licked open and they were as of old. When the grandmother saw the youthful monk, she said, “You’re indeed my grandson! 
Why, you are just like my son Guangrui!” She felt both happy and sad. Xuanzang led his grandmother out of the kiln and went back to 
Liu Xiaoer’s inn, where he rented a room for her to stay. He also gave her some money, saying, “In a little more than a month’s time, 
I’ll be back.” 

Taking leave of his grandmother, he went straight to the capital and found his way to the house of the chief minister Yin on the 
eastern street of the imperial city. He said to the porter, “This little monk is a kinsman who has come to visit the chief minister.” The 
porter made the report to the chief minister, who replied, “I’m not related to any monk!” But his wife said, “I dreamed last night that 
my daughter Mantangjiao came home. Could it be that our son-in-law has sent us a letter?” The chief minister therefore had the little 
monk shown to the living room. When he saw the chief minister and his wife, he fell weeping to the floor. Taking a letter from within 
the folds of his robe, he handed it over to the chief minister. The chief minister opened it, read it from beginning to end, and wept 
without restraint. “Your Excellency, what is the matter?” asked his wife. “This monk,” said the chief minister, “is our grandson. Our 
son-in-law, Chen Guangrui, was murdered by bandits, and Mantangjiao was made the wife of the murderer by force.” When the wife 
heard this, she too wept inconsolably. 

“Let our lady restrain her grief,” said the chief minister. “Tomorrow morning I shall present a memorial to our Lord. I shall lead the 
troops myself to avenge our son-in-law.” The next day, the chief minister went into court to present his memorial to the Tang emperor, 
which read: 

The son-in-law of your subject, the zhuangyuan Chen Guangrui, was proceeding to his post at Jiangzhou with members of his family. He was beaten to death by the boatman Liu Hong, who then took 

our daughter by force to be his wife. He pretended to be the son-in-law of your subject and usurped his post for many years. This is indeed a shocking and tragic incident. I beg Your Majesty to dispatch 
horses and men at once to exterminate the bandits. 

The Tang emperor saw the memorial and became exceedingly angry. He immediately called up sixty thousand imperial soldiers and 
ordered the chief minister Yin to lead them forth. The chief minister took the decree and left the court to make the roll call for the 
troops at the barracks. They proceeded immediately toward Jiangzhou, journeying by day and resting by night, and they soon reached 
the place. Horses and men pitched camps on the north shore, and that very night, the chief minister summoned with golden tablets 7 the 
Subprefect and County Judge of Jiangzhou to his camp. He explained to the two of them the reason for the expedition and asked for 
their military assistance. They then crossed the river and, before the sky was light, had the mansion of Liu Hong completely 
surrounded. Liu Hong was still in his dreams when at the shot of a single cannon and the unisonous roll of drums, the soldiers broke 
into the private quarters of the mansion. Liu Hong was seized before he could offer any resistance. The chief minister had him and the 
rest of the prisoners bound and taken to the field of execution, while the rest of the soldiers pitched camp outside the city. 

Taking a seat in the great hall of the mansion, the chief minister invited the lady to come out to meet him. She was about to do so but 
was overcome by shame at seeing her father again, and wanted to hang herself right there. Xuanzang learned of this and rushed inside 
to save his mother. Falling to his knees, he said to her, “Your son and his grandfather led the troops here to avenge father. The bandit 
has already been captured. Why does mother want to die now? If mother were dead, how could your son possibly remain alive?” The 
chief minister also went inside to offer his consolation. “I have heard,” said the lady, “that a woman follows her spouse to the grave. 
My husband was murdered by this bandit, causing me dreadful grief. How could I yield so shamefully to the thief? The child I was 
carrying—that was my sole lease on life that helped me bear my humiliation! Now that my son is grown and my old father has led 
troops to avenge our wrong, I who am the daughter have little face left for my reunion. I can only die to repay my husband!” 

“My child,” said the chief minister, “you did not alter your virtue according to prosperity or adversity. You had no choice! How can 
this be regarded as shame?” Father and daughter embraced, weeping; Xuanzang also could not contain his emotion. Wiping away his 
tears, the chief minister said, “The two of you must sorrow no more. I have already captured the culprit, and I must now dispose of 
him.” He got up and went to the execution site, and it happened that the Subprefect of Jiangzhou had also apprehended the pirate Li 
Biao, who was brought by sentinels to the same place. Highly pleased, the chief minister ordered Liu Hong and Li Biao to be flogged a 
hundred times with large canes. Each signed an affidavit, giving a thorough account of the murder of Chen Guangrui. First Li Biao was 
nailed to a wooden ass, and after it had been pushed to the marketplace, he was cut to pieces and his head exposed on a pole for all to 
see. Liu Hong was then taken to the crossing at the Hong River, to the exact spot where he had beaten Chen Guangrui to death. The 
chief minister, the lady, and Xuanzang all went to the bank of the river, and as libations they offered the heart and liver of Liu Hong, 
which had been gouged out from him live. Finally, an essay eulogizing the deceased was burned. 

Facing the river the three persons wept without restraint, and their sobs were heard down below in the water region. A yaksa 
patrolling the waters brought the essay in its spirit form to the Dragon King, who read it and at once sent a turtle marshal to fetch 
Guangrui. “Sir,” said the king, “Congratulations! Congratulations! At this moment, your wife, your son, and your father-in-law are 
offering sacrifices to you at the bank of the river. I am now letting your soul go so that you may return to life. We are also presenting 
you with a pearl of wish fulfillment, 8 two rolling-pan pearls, 9 ten bales of mermaid silk, 10 and a jade belt with lustrous pearls. Today 
you will enjoy the reunion of husband and wife, mother and son.” After Guangrui had given thanks repeatedly, the Dragon King 
ordered a yaksa to escort his body to the mouth of the river and there to return his soul. The yaksa followed the order and left. 

We tell you now about Lady Yin, who, having wept for some time for her husband, would have killed herself again by plunging into 
the water if Xuanzang had not desperately held on to her. They were struggling pitifully when they saw a dead body floating toward 
the river bank. The lady hurriedly went forward to look at it. Recognizing it as her husband’s body, she burst into even louder wailing. 
As the other people gathered around to look, they suddenly saw Guangrui unclasping his fists and stretching his legs. The entire body 
began to stir, and in a moment he clambered up to the bank and sat down, to the infinite amazement of everyone. Guangrui opened his 
eyes and saw Lady Yin, the chief minister Yin, his father-in-law, and a youthful monk, all weeping around him. “Why are you all 
here?” said Guangrui. 

“It all began,” said Lady Yin, “when you were beaten to death by bandits. Afterwards your unworthy wife gave birth to this son, 
who is fortunate enough to have been brought up by the abbot of the Gold Mountain Temple. The abbot sent him to meet me, and I told 
him to go seek his maternal grandfather. When father heard this, he made it known to the court and led troops here to arrest the bandits. 
Just now we took out the culprit’s liver and heart live to offer to you as libations, but I would like to know how my husband’s soul is 
able to return to give him life.” Guangrui said, “That’s all on account of our buying the golden carp, when you and I were staying at the 
Inn of Ten Thousand Flowers. I released that carp, not knowing that it was none other than the Dragon King of this place. When the 
bandits pushed me into the river afterward, he was the one who came to my rescue. Just now he was also the one who gave me back 
my soul as well as many precious gifts, which I have here with me. I never even knew that you had given birth to this boy, and I am 
grateful that my father-in-law has avenged me. Indeed, bitterness has passed and sweetness has come! What unsurpassable joy!” 

When the various officials heard about this, they all came to tender their congratulations. The chief minister then ordered a great 
banquet to thank his subordinates, after which the troops and horses on the very same day began their march homeward. When they 
came to the Inn of Ten Thousand Flowers, the chief minister gave order to pitch camp. Guangrui went with Xuanzang to the Inn of Liu 
to seek the grandmother, who happened to have dreamed the night before that a withered tree had blossomed. Magpies behind her 
house were chattering incessantly as well. She thought to herself, “Could it be that my grandson is coming?” Before she had finished 
talking to herself, father and son arrived together. The youthful monk pointed to her and said, “Isn’t this my grandmother?” When 
Guangrui saw his aged mother, he bowed in haste; mother and son embraced and wept without restraint for a while. After recounting to 
each other what had happened, they paid the innkeeper his bill and set out again for the capital. When they reached the chief minister’s 
residence, Guangrui, his wife, and his mother all went to greet the chief minister’s wife, who was overjoyed. She ordered her servants 
to prepare a huge banquet to celebrate the occasion. The chief minister said, “This banquet today may be named the Festival of 
Reunion, for truly our whole family is rejoicing.” Early the next morning, the Tang emperor held court, during which time the chief 
minister Yin left the ranks to give a careful report on what had taken place. He also recommended that a talent like Guangrui’s be used 
in some important capacity. The Tang emperor approved the memorial, and ordered that Chen E be promoted to Subchancellor of the 
Grand Secretariat so that he could accompany the court and carry out its policies. Xuanzang, determined to follow the way of Zen, was 
sent to practice austerities at the Temple of Infinite Blessing. Some time after this, Lady Yin calmly committed suicide after all, and 
Xuanzang went back to the Gold Mountain Temple to repay the kindness of abbot Faming. 


The Old Dragon King s foolish schemes transgress Heaven s decrees; 

Prime Minister Wei s letter seeks help from an official of the dead. 

For the time being, we shall make no mention of Guangrui serving in his post and Xuanzang practicing austerities. We tell you now 
about two worthies who lived on the banks of the river Jing outside the city of Chang’an: a fisherman by the name of Zhang Shao and 
a woodman by the name of Li Ding. 1 The two of them were scholars who had passed no official examination, mountain folks who 
knew how to read. One day in the city of Chang’an, after they had sold the wood on the one’s back and the carp in the other’s basket, 
they went into a small inn and drank until they were slightly tipsy. Each carrying a bottle, they followed the bank of the Jing River and 
walked slowly back. 

“Brother Li,” said Zhang Shao, “in my opinion those who strive for fame will lose their lives on account of fame; those who live in 
quest of fortune will perish because of riches; those who have titles sleep embracing a tiger; and those who receive official favors walk 
with snakes in their sleeves. When you think of it, their lives cannot compare with our carefree existence, close to the blue mountains 
and fair waters. We cherish poverty and pass our days without having to quarrel with fate.” 

“Brother Zhang,” said Li Ding, “there’s a great deal of truth in what you say. But your fair waters cannot match my blue mountains.” 
“On the contrary,” said Zhang Shao, “your blue mountains cannot match my fair waters, in testimony of which I offer a lyric 2 to the 
tune of ‘Butterflies Enamored of Flowers’ that says: 

a small boat o 'er ten thousand miles of misty waves 

ean to the silent, single sail, 

rcled by sounds of the mermaid-fish. 

y mind cleansed, my care purged, here lacks wealth or fame; 

•isurely I pick stems of bulrushes and reeds. 

hunting the seagulls is pleasure to be told! 
willowed banks and reeded bays 
y wife and son join my joyous laugh, 
deep most soundly as wind and wave recede; 
y shame, no glory, nor any misery. ” 

Li Ding said, “Your fair waters are not as good as my blue mountains. I also have as testimony a lyric poem to the tune of 
‘Butterflies Enamored of Flowers’ that says: 

a dense forest s pine-seeded corner 
tear, wordless, the oriole — 

: deft tongue s a tuneful pipe. 

lie reds and bright greens announce the warmth of spring; 
mmer comes abruptly; so passes time. 

ten autumn arrives (for it’s an easy change) 
ith fragrant golden flowers 
ost worthy of our joy; 

id cold winter descends, swift as a finger snaps, 
iled by no one, I’m free in all four climes. ” 

The fisherman said, “Your blue mountains are not as good as my fair waters, which offer me some fine things to enjoy. As testimony 
I have here a lyric to the tune of ‘The Partridge Sky’ ”: 

ie fairy land cloud and water do suffice: 
iat adrift, oars accumbent—this is my home, 
plit fishes live and cook green turtles; 
team purple crabs and boil red shrimps. 

'•een reed-shoots, 

‘iter-plant sprouts; 

itter still the ‘chicken heads, the waiter caltrops, 

>tus roots, old or young, the tender celery leaves, 
rowheads, white caltrops, and niaoying flowers. ” 

The woodman said, “Your fair waters are not as good as my blue mountains, which offer me some fine things to enjoy. As testimony 
I too have a lyric to the tune of ‘The Partridge Sky’: 

n tall, craggy peaks that touch heaven’s edge 
grass house, a straw hut would make up my home, 
ired fowls, smoked geese surpass turles or crabs; 
ires, antelopes, and deer best fishes or shrimps. 

i e scented chun leaves; 
ie yellow lian sprouts;^ 

imboo shoots and mountain tea are even better! 
irple plums, red peaches, prunes and apricots ripe, 
veet pears, sour dates, and cassia flowers. ” 

The fisherman said, “Your blue mountains are truly not as good as my fair waters. I have another lyric to the tune of ‘The Heavenly 

ne leaflike skiff goes where 'er I choose to stay, 
ear not ten thousand folds of wave or mist. 

Irop hooks and cast nets to catch fresh fish: 
ith no sauce or fat, 
s tastier yet. 

Id wife and young son complete my home. 

hen fishes are plenty, I leave for Chang 'an marts 

id barter them for wine I drink till drunk, 
coir coat shrouds me, on autumnal stream I lie; 

\oring, asleep, 

7 fret or care — 

ove not the glory or the pomp of man. ” 

The woodman said, “Your fair waters are still not as good as my blue mountains. I too have a poem to the tune of ‘The Heavenly 

few straw houses built beneath a hill. 

nes, orchids, plums, bamboos—lovable all! 

issing groves, climbing mountains, I seek dried woods. 

ith none to chide, 

ell as I wish: 

ow much, how little, depends on my yield. 

tse the cash to buy wine as I please. 

irthen crocks, clay flagons—both put me at ease. 

>dden with wine, in the pine shade I lie: 

7 anxious thoughts; 

7 gain or loss; 

7 care for this world s failure or success. ” 

The fisherman said, “Brother Li, your moutain life is not as pleasing as my livelihood on the waters. As testimony, I have a lyric to 
the tune of ‘Moon Over West River’: 

‘d smartweeds ,'v thick blooms glow in moonlight 
How rush-leaves tousled, wind-shaken, 
le blue sky, clean and distant, in empty Chu River: 
r awing my lines, I stir a deep pool of stars. 

rank and file big fishes enter the net; 

ams of tiny perches swallow the hooks. 

leir taste is special when they ’re caught and cooked. 

y laughter presides over rivers and lakes. ” 

The woodman says, “Brother Zhang, your life on the waters is not as pleasing as my livelihood in the mountains. As testimony, I 
also have a lyric to the tune of ‘Moon Over West River’: 

?ad leaves, parched creepers choking the road; 

\apped poles, aged bamboos crowding the hill; 
ned tendrils and sedges in disheveled growth 
ireak and take; my ropes truss the load. 

illow trunks hollowed by insects, 
ne branches clipped off by wind, 
gather and stockpile, ready for winter s cold, 
hange them for wine or cash as I wish. ” 

The fisherman said, “Though your life in the mountains is not bad, it is still not as charming and graceful as mine is on the fair 
waters. As testimony, I have a lyric to the tune of ‘Immortal by the River’: 

tiling tide moves my one boat away; 

■est my oars, my song comes with the night. 

le coir coat, the waning moon—how charming they are! 

7 seagull darts up from fright 
: rosy clouds spread through the sky. 

•leep without care at reeded isles, 
ill snoozing when the sun is high, 
vork after my own plans and desires, 
issals in cold nights tending court, 

7 uld theirs match my pleasure and peace? ” 

The woodman said, “The charm and grace of your fair waters cannot be compared with those of my blue mountains. I too have a 
testimony to the tune of ‘Immortal by the River’: 

valk autumn's frosty paths dragging my ax; 
night’s cool I pole back my load, 
ranger still with temples stuck with flowers. 

>ush clouds to find my way out; 
oon-stuck I call open my gate. 

istic wife and young son greet me with smiles; 
n straw bed and wooden pillow I lie. 
earned pears and cooked millet are soon prepared, 
te urn’s brew newly mellowed 
ill add to my secret joys. ” 

The fisherman said, “All these things in our poems have to do with our livelihood, the occupations with which we support ourselves. 
But your life not as good as those leisurely moments of mine, for which I have as testimony a regulated poem. The poem says: 

ly I watch the blue sky s white cranes fly. 
y boat stops stream-side, my door’s half-closed. 

> the sail my son s taught to knot fishing threads; 

7 wing stops, I join my wife to dry the nets, 
y mind is still: thus I know the water’s calm, 
y self's secure: hence Ifeel the wind is light, 
reely don my green coir and bamboo hat: 
tat beats wearing a robe with purple sash. 

The woodman said, “Your leisurely moments are not as good as mine, for which I also have a regulated poem as a testimony. The 
poem says: 

ly I watch billows of white clouds fly, 

*• sit in my thatched hut's closed bamboo gates. 

>pen leisurely books to teach my son; 
times I face guests to play circling chess. ^ 
y cane strolls with my songs through floral paths; 

■oused, I climb green mountains, lute in hand, 
raw sandals, hemp sashes, and coarse cloth quilts 

1 beat silk garments when your heart is free! ” 

Zhang Shao said, “Li Ding, the two of us indeed are 

icky to have light songs to amuse us. 

2 don’t need castanets or flasks ofgold? 

But the poems we have recited thus far are occasional pieces, hardly anything unusual. Why don’t we attempt a long poem in the 
linking-verse manner, 8 and see how fares the conversation between the fisherman and the woodman?” 

Li Ding said, “That’s a marvelous proposal, Brother Zhang! Please begin.” 

y boat rests on the green water's mist and wave? 
y home's deep in mountains and open plains, 
ove the streams and bridges as spring tide swells; 

•are for ridges veiled by the clouds of dawn, 
y fresh carps from Longmen are often cooked ;' ® 
y dried woods, worm-rotted, are daily burnt, 
its of many kinds will support my age. 

)th pole and rope will see me to the end. 
ie in a skiff and watch wild geese fly; 
prawl on grassy paths when wild swans cry. 
lave no stake in fields of mouth and tongue; 
trough seas of scandal I’ve not made my way. 

•mg-dried by the stream my net’s like brocade; 

dished new on rocks, my ax shows a fine blade. 

meath autumn’s moon I oft fish alone; 

spring hills all quiet I meet no one. 

shes are changed for wine for me and wife to drink; 

rewood is used to buy a bottle for my son. 

ing and freely pour on my heart s desire; 

songs and sighs there’s none to restrain me. 

•all fellow boatmen to come as brothers; 
ith friends we join the codgers of the wilds. 

2 make rules, play games, and exchange the cups; 

2 break words, remake them, when we pass the mugs, 
yoked shrimps, boiled crabs are my daily feasts; 
n daily fed by smoked fowls and fried ducks, 
y unlettered wife makes tea languidly; 
y mountain wife cooks rice most leisurely, 
hen dawn comes, I lift my staff to stir the waves; 
sunrise I pole my wood to cross big roads. 

Ion coir coat after rain to catch live carps; 
ind-blown I wield my ax to cut dried pines. 

•ding tracks to flee the world, I'm like a fool; 
otting name and surname, I play deaf and dumb. 

Zhang Shao said, “Brother Li, just now I presumed to take the lead and began with the first line of the poem. Why don’t you begin 
this time and I shall follow you.” 

rustic who feigns to be romantic; 
i oldie taking pride in streams and lakes, 
y lot is leisure, I seek laxity and ease. 

\unning talk and gossip, I love my peace, 
moonlit nights I sleep in safe straw huts; 
hen sky dims I’m draped with light coir cape, 
befriend with ardor both pines and plums; 
n pleased to mingle with egrets and gulls, 
y mind has no plans for fortune or fame; 
y ears are deaf to the din of spear and drum, 
any time I’d pour my fragrant wine; 
y day’s three meals are soups of leafy greens, 
y living rests on two bundles of wood; 
y trade is my pole fit with hooks and lines. 

•all our young son to sharpen my ax; 

ell my small rogue he should mend our nets. 

'ring comes, I love to watch the willows green; 
arm days gladden the sight of rushes and reeds. 

• flee summer's heat I plant new bamboos; 
tick young lotus to cool myself in June, 
hen Frost Descends the fatted fowls are slain; 

> Double Ninth ^ I’d cook the roe-filled crabs, 
leep deep in winter though the sun is high; 
hen the sky’s tall and hazy, I’d not fry! 
iroughout the year I roam free in the hills; 
all four climes I sail the lakes at will, 
athering wood I own the immortals 'feel; 

•■opping my rod, I sport no worldly form, 
y door's wild blossoms are fragrant and bright; 
y stem’s green water flows calm and serene, 
yntent, I seek not the Three Dukes ’seats. ^ 
ke a ten-mile city my nature’s firm, 
ties, though tall, must resist a siege; 
ukes, though of high rank, must the summon heed, 
zlight in hills and streams is truly rare, 
tank Heaven, thank Earth, let’s thank the gods! 

The two of them thus recited poems and songs and composed linking-verses. Arriving at the place where their ways parted, they 

bowed to take leave of each other. “Elder Brother Li,” said Zhang Shao, “take care as you go on your way. When you climb the 
mountains, be wary of the tiger. If you were harmed, I would find, as the saying goes, 

<e friend missing on the street tomorrow. ” 

When Li Ding heard these words, he grew very angry saying, “What a scoundrel you are! Good friends would even die for each other! 
But you, why do you say such unlucky things to me? If I’m to be harmed by a tiger, your boat will surely capsize in the river.” “I’ll 
never capsize my boat in the river,” said Zhang Shao. Li Ding said, “As 

i ere are unexpected storms in the sky 
> there is sudden weal or woe with man. * ^ 

What makes you so sure that you won’t have an accident?” 

“Elder Brother Li,” said Zhang Shao, “you say this because you have no idea what may befall you in your business, whereas I can 
predict what'll happen in my kind of business. And I assure you that I won’t have any accident.” “The kind of living you pick up on 
the waters,” said Li Ding, “is an exceedingly treacherous business. You have to take chances all the time. How can you be so certain 
about your future?” 

“Here’s something you don’t know about,” said Zhang Shao. “In this city of Chang’an, there’s a fortune teller who plies his trade on 
the West Gate Street. Every day I give him a golden carp as a present, and he consults the sticks in his sleeve for me. I follow his 
instructions when I lower my nets, and I’ve never missed in a hundred times. Today I went again to buy his prediction; he told me to 
set my nets at the east bend of the Jing River and to cast my line from the west bank. I know I’ll come back with a fine catch of fishes 
and shrimps. When I go up to the city tomorrow. I’ll sell my catch and buy some wine, and then I’ll get together with you again, old 
brother.” The two men then parted. 

There is, however, a proverb: “What is said on the road is heard in the grass.” For you see, it happened that a yaksa on patrol in the 
Jing River overheard the part of the conversation about not having missed a hundred times. He dashed back to the Water Crystal Palace 
and hastily reported to the Dragon King, shouting, “Disaster! Disaster!” “What sort of disaster?” asked the Dragon King. 

“Your subject,” said the yaksa, “was patrolling the river and overheard a conversation between a woodman and a fisherman. Before 
they parted, they said something terrible. According to the fisherman, there is a fortune teller on West Gate Street in the city of 
Chang’an who is most accurate in his calculations. Every day the fisherman gives him a carp, and he then consults the sticks in his 
sleeve, with the result that the fisherman has not missed once in a hundred times when he casts his line! If such accurate calculations 
continue, will not all our water kin be exterminated? Where will you find any more inhabitants for the watery region who will toss and 
leap in the waves to enhance the majesty of the Great King?” 

The Dragon King became so angry that he wanted to take the sword and go at once up to Chang’an to slay the fortune teller. But his 
dragon sons and grandsons, the shrimp and crab ministers, the samli counselor, the perch Subdirector of the Minor Court, and the carp 
President of the Board of Civil Office all came from the side and said to him, “Let the Great King restrain his anger. The proverb says, 
‘Don’t believe everything you hear.’ If the Great King goes forth like this, the clouds will accompany you and the rains will follow 
you. We fear that the people of Chang’an will be terrified and Heaven will be offended. Since the Great King has the power to appear 
or disappear suddenly and to transform into many shapes and sizes, let him change into a scholar. Then go to the city of Chang’an and 
investigate the matter. If there is indeed such a person, you can slay him without delay; but if there is no such person, there is no need 
to harm innocent people.” The Dragon King accepted their suggestion; he abandoned his sword and dismissed the clouds and the rains. 
Reaching the river bank, he shook his body and changed into a white-robed scholar, truly with 

matures most virile, 

stature towering; 

stride most stately — 

i orderly and firm. 

is speech exalts Kong and Meng; 

is manner embodies Zhou and Wen. ^ 

? wears a silk robe of the color of jade; 
is casual head-wrap's shaped like the letter one. * 

Coming out of the water, the Dragon King strode to the West Gate Street in the city of Chang’an. There he found a noisy crowd 
surrounding someone who was saying in a lofty and self-assured manner, “Those bom under the Dragon will follow their fate; those 
under the Tiger will collide with their physiognomies. 16 The branches Yin, Chen, Si, and Hai may be said to fit into the grand scheme, 
but I fear your birthday may clash with the Planet Jupiter.” When the Dragon King heard this, he knew that he had come upon the 
fortune-teller’s place. Walking up to it and pushing the people apart, he peered inside to see 

utr walls of exquisite writings; 
room full of brocaded paintings; 
noke unending from the treasure duck ;' ^ 
id such pure water in a porcelain vase. 

1 both sides are mounted Wang Wei s paintings; 

•gh above his seat hangs the Guigu form. ^ ^ 

le ink slab from Duanxi, ^ ^ 
te golden smoke ink, 

)th match the great brush of frostiest hair; 
le crystal balls, 
w Pu’s numbers 

zatly face new classics of soothsaying. 

2 knows the hexagrams well; 

?’s mastered the eight trigrams; 

2 perceives the laws of Heaven and Earth; 

2 discerns the ways of demons and gods, 
ne tray before him fixes the cosmic hours; 

Is mind clearly orders all planets and stars, 
uly those things to come 

id those things past 
2 beholds as in a mirror; 
hich house will rise 
id which will fall 
2 foresees like a god. 

2 knows evil and decrees the good; 

2 prescribes death and predicts life. 

Is pronouncements quicken the wind and rain; 
is brush alarms both spirits and gods, 
is shop sign has letters to declare his name; 
lis divine diviner, Yuan Shoucheng. 

Who was this man? He was actually the uncle of Yuan Tiankang, president of the Imperial Board of Astronomy in the present 
dynasty. The gentle man was truly a man of extraordinary appearance and elegant features; his name was known throughout the great 
country and his art was considered the highest in Chang’an. The Dragon King went inside the door and met the Master; after 
exchanging greetings, he was invited to take the seat of honor while a boy served him tea. The Master asked, “What would you like to 
know?” The Dragon King said, “Please forecast the weather.” The Master consulted his sticks and made his judgment: 

ouds hide the hilltop 
id fog shrouds the tree, 
te rain you’d divine 
•morrow you ’ll see. 

“At what hour will it rain tomorrow, and how much rain will there be?” asked the Dragon King. “At the hour of the Dragon the 
clouds will gather,” said the Master, “and thunder will be heard at the hour of the Serpent. Rain will come at the hour of the Horse and 
reach its limit at the hour of the Sheep. 21 There will be altogether three feet, three inches, and forty-eight drops of rain.” “You had 
better not be joking now,” said the Dragon King, laughing. “If it rains tomorrow and if it is in accordance with the time and the amount 
you prophesied, I shall present you with fifty taels of gold as my thanks. But if it does not rain, or if the amount and the hours are 
incorrect, I tell you truly that I shall come and break your front door to pieces and tear down your shop sign. You will be chased out of 
Chang’an at once so that you may no longer seduce the multitude.” “You may certainly do that,” said the Master amiably. “Good-bye 
for now. Please come again tomorrow after the rain.” 

The Dragon King took leave and returned to his water residence. He was received by various aquatic deities, who asked, “How was 
the Great King’s visit to the soothsayer?” “Yes, yes, yes,” said the Dragon King, “there is indeed such a person, but he’s a garrulous 
fortune-teller. I asked him when it would rain, and he said tomorrow; I asked him again about the time and the amount, and he told me 
that clouds would gather at the hour of the Dragon, thunder would be heard at the hour of the Serpent, and that rain would come at the 
hour of the Horse and would reach its limit at the hour of the Sheep. Altogether there would be three feet, three inches, and forty-eight 
drops of water. 1 made a wager with him: if it is as he said, I’ll reward him with fifty taels of gold. If there is the slightest error, I’ll 
break down his shop and chase him away, so that he will not be permitted to seduce the multitude at Chang’an.” “The Great King is the 
supreme commander of the eight rivers,” said the water kin, laughing, “the great Dragon Deity in charge of rain. Whether there is 
going to be rain or not, only the Great King knows that. How dare he speak so foolishly? That soothsayer is sure to lose!” 

While the dragon sons and grandsons were laughing at the matter with the fish and crab officials, a voice was heard suddenly in 
midair announcing, “Dragon King of the Jing River, receive the imperial command.” They raised their heads to look and saw a golden- 
robed guardian holding the decree of the Jade Emperor and heading straight for the water residence. The Dragon King hastily 
straightened out his attire and burned incense to receive the decree. After he made his delivery, the guardian rose into the air and left. 
The Dragon King opened the decree, which said: 

2 bid the Eight-Rivers Prince 

• call up thunder and rain; 
mr out tomorrow your grace 

• benefit Chang 'an's race. 

The instructions regarding the hours and the amount of rain written on the decree did not even differ in the slightest from the 
soothsayer’s prediction. So overwhelmed was the Dragon King that his spirit left him and his soul fled, and only after awhile did he 
regain consciousness. He said to his water kinsmen, “There is indeed an intelligent creature in the world of dust! How well he 
comprehends the laws of Heaven and Earth! I’m bound to lose to him!” 

“Let the Great King calm himself,” said the samli counselor. “Is it so difficult to get the better of the fortune-teller? Your subject 
here has a little plan that will silence that fellow for good.” When the Dragon King asked what the plan was, the counselor said, “If the 
rain tomorrow misses the timing and the amount specified by a mere fraction, it will mean that his prediction is not accurate. Won’t 
you have won? What’s there to stop you then from tearing up his shop sign and putting him on the road?” The Dragon King took his 
counsel and stopped worrying. 

The next day he ordered the Duke of Wind, the Lord of Thunder, the Boy of Clouds, and the Mother of Lightning to go with him to 
the sky above Chang’an. He waited until the hour of the Serpent before spreading the clouds, the hour of the Horse before letting loose 
the thunder, the hour of the Sheep before releasing the rain, and only by the hour of the Monkey did the rain stop. 22 There were only 
three feet and forty drops of water, since the times were altered by an hour and the amount was changed by three inches and eight 

After the rain, the Dragon King dismissed his followers and came down from the clouds, transformed once again into a scholar 
dressed in white. He went to the West Gate Street and barged into Yuan Shoucheng’s shop. Without a word of explanation, he began to 
smash the shop sign, the brushes, and the ink slab to pieces. The Master, however, sat on his chair and remained unmoved, so the 
Dragon King unhinged the door and threatened to hit him with it, crying, “You’re nothing but a bogus prophet of good and evil, an 
imposter who deludes the minds of the people! Your predictions are incorrect; your words are patently false! What you told me about 
the time and quantity of today’s rain was utterly inaccurate, and yet you dare sit so smugly and so high on your seat? Leave here at 
once before you are executed!” Still Yuan Shoucheng was not at all intimidated. He lifted up his head and laughed scornfully. “I’m not 
afraid!” he said. “Not in the least! I’m not guilty of death, but I fear that you have committed a mortal crime. You can fool other 

people, but you can’t fool me! I recognize you, all right: you are not a white-robed scholar but the Dragon King of the Jing River. By 
altering the times and holding back the quantity of rain, you have disobeyed the decree of the Jade Emperor and transgressed the law of 
Heaven. On the dragon execution block you won’t escape the knife! And here you are, railing at me!” 

When the Dragon King heard these words, his heart trembled and his hair stood on end. He dropped the door quickly, tidied his 
clothes, and knelt before the Master saying, “I beg the Master not to take offense. My previous words were spoken in jest; little did I 
realize that my prank would turn out to be such a serious crime. Now I have indeed transgressed the law of Heaven. What am I to do? I 
beseech the Master to save me. If you won’t, I’ll never let you go!” “I can’t save you,” said Shoucheng, “I can only point out to you 
what may be a way of life.” “I’m willing to be instructed,” said the Dragon. 

The Master said, “You are to be executed tomorrow by the human judge, Wei Zheng, at the third quarter past the hour of noon. If 
you want to preserve your life, you must go quickly to plead your case before the present emperor Tang Taizong, for Wei Zheng is the 
prime minister before his throne. If you can win the emperor’s favor, you’ll be spared.” Hearing this, the Dragon took leave with tears 
in his eyes. Soon the red sun sank down and the moon arose. You see 

noke thickens on purple mountains as homing crows tire; 
avelers on distant journeys head for inns; 

•ung wild geese at fords rest on field and sand, 
te silver stream appears ^ 

1 hasten the time float. 

ghts fare in a lone village from dying fames: 
ind sweeps the burner to clear Daoist yard of smoke 
■ man fades away in the butterfly dreamt 
le moon moves floral shadows up the garden’s rails, 
te stars are rife 
! water clocks strike; 

i swiftly the gloom deepens that it s midnight. 

Our Dragon King of the Jing River did not even return to his water home; he waited in the air until it was about the hour of the Rat, 26 
when he descended from the clouds and mists and came to the gate of the palace. At this time the Tang emperor was just having a 
dream about taking a walk outside the palace in the moonlight, beneath the shades of flowers. The Dragon suddenly assumed the form 
of a human being and went up to him. Kneeling, he cried out, “Your Majesty, save me, save me!” “Who are you?” asked Taizong. “We 
would be glad to save you.” “Your Majesty is the true dragon,” said the Dragon King, “but I am an accursed one. Because I have 
disobeyed the decree of Heaven, I am to be executed by a worthy subject of Your Majesty, the human judge Wei Zheng. I have 
therefore come here to plead with you to save me.” “If Wei Zheng is to be the executioner,” said Taizong, “we can certainly save you. 
You may leave and not worry.” The Dragon King was delighted and left after expressing his gratitude. 

We tell you now about Taizong, who, having awakened, was still turning over in his mind what he had dreamed. Soon it was three- 
fifths past the hour of the fifth watch, and Taizong held court for his ministers, both civil and martial. You see 

noke shrouding the phoenix arches; 
cense clouding the dragon domes; 
ght shimmering as the silk screens move; 

'ouds brushing the feather-trimmed flags 
tiers and lords harmonious as Yao and Shun ;- ^ 
tuals and music solemn as Han’s and Zhou s. 
te attendant lamps, 
te court-maiden fans 
t ow their colors in pairs; 

•om peacock screens 

id unicorn halls 

ght radiates every where. 

tree cheers for long life! 

wish for reign everlasting! 

hen a whip cracks three times, 

te caps and robes will bow to the Crown. 

■illiant palatial blooms, endued by Heaven’s scent; 
iant bank willows, sung and praised by court music. 
le screens of pearl, 
te screens of jade, 

•e drawn high by golden hooks: 
te dragon-phoenix fan, 
te mountain-river fan ^ 

;st on top of the royal carriage. 

le civil lords are noble and refined; 

le martial lords, strong and valiant. 

te imperial path divides the ranks: 

te vermilion court aligns the grades. 

le golden seal and purple sashes bearing the three signs ^ 

ill last for millions of years as Heaven and Earth. 

After the ministers had paid their homage, they all went back to standing in rows according to their rank. The Tang emperor opened 
his dragon eyes to look at them one by one: among the civil officials were Fang Xuanling, Du Ruhui, Xu Shizhi, Xu Jingzong, and 
Wang Guei; and among the military officials were Ma Sanbao, Duan Zhixian, Yin Kaishan, Cheng Yaojin, Liu Hongzhi, Hu Jingde, 
and Qin Shubao. Each one of them was standing there in a most solemn manner, but the prime minister Wei Zheng was not to be seen 
anywhere. The Tang emperor asked Xu Shizhi to come forward and said to hint, “We had a strange dream last night: there was a man 
who paid homage to us, calling himself the Dragon King of the Jing River. He said that he had disobeyed the command of Heaven and 
was supposed to be executed by the human judge Wei Zheng. He implored us to save him, and we gave our consent. Today only Wei 
Zheng is absent from the ranks. Why is that?” “This dream may indeed come true,” answered Shizhi, “and Wei Zheng must be 
summoned to court immediately. Once he arrives, let Your Majesty keep him here for a whole day and not permit him to leave. After 
this day, the dragon in the dream will be saved.” The Tang emperor was most delighted: he gave the order at once to have Wei Zheng 
summoned to court. 

We speak now of prime minister Wei Zheng, who studied the movement of the stars and burned incense at his home that evening. He 
heard the cries of cranes in the air and saw there a Heavenly messenger holding the golden decree of the Jade Emperor, which ordered 
him to execute in his dream the old dragon of the Jing River at precisely the third quarter past the noon hour. Having thanked the 
Heavenly grace, our prime minister prepared himself in his residence by bathing himself and abstaining from food; he was also 
sharpening his magic sword and exercising his spirit, and therefore he did not attend court. He was terribly flustered when he saw the 
royal officer on duty arriving with the summons. Not daring, however, to disobey the emperor’s command, he had to dress quickly and 
follow the summons into court, kowtowing and asking for pardon before the throne. The Tang emperor said, “We pardoned indeed our 
worthy subject.” 

At that time the various ministers had not yet retired from the court, and only after Wei Zheng’s arrival was the curtain drawn up for 
the court’s dismissal. Wei Zheng alone was asked to remain; he rode the golden carriage with the emperor to enter the chamber for 
relaxation, where he discussed with the emperor tactics for making the empire secure and other affairs of state. When it was just about 
midway between the hour of the Serpent and the hour of the Horse, the emperor asked the royal attendants to bring out a large chess 
set, saying, “We shall have a game with our worthy subject.” The various concubines took out the chessboard and set it on the imperial 
table. After expressing his gratitude, Wei Zheng set out to play chess with the Tang emperor, both of them moving the pieces step by 
step into positions. It was completely in accordance with the instruction of the Classic of Chess: 

The way of chess exalts discipline and caution; the most powerful pieces should remain in the center, the weakest ones at the flanks, and the less powerful ones at the comers. This is a familiar law of 
the chess player. The law says: “You should rather lose a piece than an advantage. When you strike on the left, you must guard your right; when you attack in the rear, you must watch your front. Only 
when you have a secure front will you also have a rear, and only if you have a secure rear will you maintain your front. The two ends cannot be separated, and yet both must remain flexible and not be 
encumbered. Abroad formation should not be too loose, while a tight position should not be constricted. Rather than clinging on to save a single piece, it is better to sacrifice it in order to win; rather 
than moving without purpose, it is better to remain stationary in order to be self-supportive. When your adversary outnumbers you, your first concern is to survive; when you outnumber your 
adversary, you must strive to exploit your force. He who knows how to win will not prolong his fight; he who is a master of positions will not engage in direct combat; he who knows how to fight will 
not suffer defeat; and he who knows how to lose will not panic. For chess begins with proper engagement but ends in unexpected victory. If your enemy, even without being threatened, is bringing up 
his reinforcement, it is a sign of his intention to attack; if he deserts a small piece without trying to save it, he may be stalking a bigger piece. If he moves in a casual manner, he is a man without 
thoughts; response without thought is the way to defeat. The Classic of Poetry says: 

iproach with extreme caution 
■ if facing a deep canyon. 

ich is the meaning thereof, 
le poem says: 

le chessboard’s the earth; the pieces are the sky; 
te colors are light and dark as the whole universe, 
hen playing reaches that skillful, subtle stage, 
aast and laugh with the old Immortal of Chess. ^ ^ 

The two of them, emperor and subject, played chess until three quarters past the noon hour, but the game was not yet finished. 
Suddenly Wei Zheng put his head on the table and fell fast asleep. Taizong laughed and said, “Our worthy subject truly has worn 
himself out for the state and exhausted his strength on behalf of the empire. He has therefore fallen asleep in spite of himself.” Taizong 
allowed him to sleep on and did not arouse him. In a little while, Wei Zheng awoke and prostrated himself on the ground saying, “Your 
subject deserves ten thousand deaths! Your subject deserves ten thousand deaths! Just now I lost consciousness for no reason at all. I 
beg Your Majesty’s pardon for such insult against the emperor.” 

“What insult is there?” said Taizong. “Arise! Let us forget the old game and start a new one instead.” Wei Zheng expressed his 
gratitude. As he put his hand on a piece, a loud clamor was heard outside the gate. It was occasioned by the ministers Qin Shubao and 
Xu Mougong, who arrived with a dragon head dripping with blood. Throwing it in front of the emperor, they said, “Your Majesty, we 
have seen seas turn shallow and rivers run dry, but a thing as strange as this we have never even heard of.” Taizong arose with Wei 
Zheng and said, “Where did this thing come from?” “South of the Thousand-Step Corridor,” replied Shubao and Mougong, “at the 
crossroads, this dragon head fell from the clouds. Your lowly subjects dare not withhold it from you.” 

In alarm, the Tang emperor asked Wei Zheng, “What’s the meaning of this?” Turning to kowtow to him, Wei Zheng said, "This 
dragon was executed just now by your subject in his dream.” When the Tang emperor heard this, he was seized with fear and said, 
“When our worthy minister was sleeping, I did not see any movement of body or limb, nor did I perceive any scimitar or sword. How 
could you have executed this dragon?” Wei Zheng replied, “My lord, although 

y body was before my master, 
eft Your Majesty in my dream; 
y body before my master faced the unfinished game, 
ith dim eyes fully closed; 

eft Your Majesty in my dream to ride the blessed cloud, 
ith spirit most eager and alert, 
tat dragon on the dragon execution block 
as bound up there by celestial hosts. 

'ur subject said, 

'or breaking Heaven’s law, 

•u are worthy of death, 
aw by Heaven's command, 
rnd your wretched life. ’ 
te dragon listened in grief; 

•ur subject bestirred his spirit; 

le dragon listened in grief, 

itrieving claws and scales to await his death; 

•ur subject bestirred his spirit, 

fling robe and taking step to hold high his blade. 

ith one loud crack the knife descended; 

id thus the head of the dragon fell from the sky. ” 

When Taizong heard these words, he was filled with both sadness and delight. The delight was caused by his pride in having a 
minister as good as Wei Zheng. If he had worthies of this kind in his court, he thought, need he worry about the security of his empire? 
He was saddened, however, by the fact that he had promised in his dream to save the dragon, and he had not anticipated that the 
creature would be killed in this manner. He had to force himself to give the order to Shubao that the dragon head be hung on display at 

the market, so that the populace of Chang’an might be informed. Meanwhile, he rewarded Wei Zheng, after which the various 
ministers dispersed. 

That night he returned to his palace in deep depression, for he kept remembering the dragon in the dream crying and begging for his 
life. Little did he expect that the turn of events would be such that the dragon still could not escape calamity. Having thought about the 
matter for a long time, he became physically and mentally drained. At about the hour of the second watch, the sound of weeping was 
heard outside the door of the palace, and Taizong became even more fearful. He was sleeping fitfully when he saw our Dragon King of 
the Jing River holding his head dripping with blood in his hand, and crying in a loud voice: “Tang Taizong! Give me back my life! 
Give me back my life! Last night you were full of promises to save me. Why did you order a human judge in the daytime to have me 
executed? Come out, come out! I am going to argue this case with you before the King of the Underworld.” He seized Taizong and 
would neither let go nor desist from his protestation. Taizong could not say a word; he could only struggle until perspiration covered 
his entire body. Just at the moment when it seemed that nothing could separate them, fragrant clouds and colorful mists appeared from 
the south. A Daoist priestess came forward and waved a willow twig. That headless dragon, still mourning and weeping, left at once 
toward the northwest. For you see, this was none other than the Bodhisattva Guanyin, who by the decree of Buddha was seeking a 
scripture pilgrim in the Land of the East. She was staying in the temple of the local spirit at the city of Chang’an when she heard in the 
night the weeping of demons and the crying of spirits. So she came specially to drive the accursed dragon away and to rescue the 
emperor. That dragon went directly to the court of the Underworld to file suit, of which we shall say no more. 

We now tell you about Taizong, who, when he awoke, could only yell aloud, “Ghost! Ghost!” He so terrified the queens of three 
palaces, the concubines of six chambers, and the attending eunuchs that they remained sleepless for the entire night. Soon it was the 
fifth watch, and all the officials of the court, both civil and military, were waiting for an audience outside the gate. They waited until 
dawn, but the emperor did not appear, and every one of them became apprehensive and restless. Only after the sun was high in the sky 
did a proclamation come out saying, “We are not feeling too well. The ministers are excused from court.” Five or six days went by 
swiftly, and the various officials became so anxious that they were about to enter the court without summons and inquire after the 
throne. Just then the queen mother gave the order to have the physician brought into the palace, and so the multitude waited at the gate 
of the court for some news. In a little while, the physician came out and he was questioned about the emperor’s illness. “The pulse of 
His Majesty is irregular,” said the physician, “for it is weak as well as rapid. He blabbers about seeing ghosts. I also perceive that there 
were ten movements and one rest, but there is no breath left in his viscera. I am afraid that he will pass away within seven days.” When 
the various ministers heard this statement, they paled with fright. 

in this state of alarm, they again heard that Taizong had summoned Xu Mougong, Huguo Gong, and Yuchi Gong to appear before 
him. The three ministers hurried into the auxiliary palace, where they prostrated themselves. Speaking somberly and with great effort, 
Taizong said, “My worthy subjects, since the age of nineteen I have been leading my army in expeditions to the four corners of the 
Earth. I have experienced much hardship throughout the years, but I have never encountered any kind of strange or weird thing. This 
day, however, I have seen ghosts!” 

“When you established your empire,” said Yuchi Gong, “you had to kill countless people. Why should you fear ghosts?” “You may 
not believe it,” said Taizong, “but outside this bedroom of mine at night, there are bricks thrown and spirits screaming to a degree that 
is truly unmanageable. In the daytime it’s not too bad, but it’s intolerable at night!” “Let Your Majesty be relieved,” said Shubao, “for 
this evening your subject and Jingde 32 will stand guard at the palace gate. We shall see what sort of ghostly business there is.” Taizong 
agreed to the proposal, and Mougong and the other ministers retired after expressing their gratitude. 

That evening the two ministers, in full battle dress and holding golden bludgeon and battle-ax, stood guard outside the palace gate. 
Dear generals! Look how they are attired: 

iey wore on their heads bright glimmering golden helmets, 
id on their bodies cuirasses of dragon scales, 
teir jeweled breastplates glow like hallowed clouds: 
ith lion knots tightly drawn, 
id silk sashes newly spun. 

tis one had phoenix eyes facing the sky to frighten the stars: 

le other had brown eyes glowering like lightning and the shining moon. 

iey were once warriors of the greatest merit; 

it now they've become 

)r all time the guardians of the gates, 

all ages the protectors of the home 

The two generals stood beside the door for the entire night and did not see the slightest disturbance. That night Taizong rested 
peacefully in the palace; when morning came he summoned the two generals before him and thanked them profusely, saying, “Since 
falling ill, I haven’t been able to sleep for days, and only last night did I manage to get some rest because of your presence. Let our 
worthy ministers retire now for some rest so that we may count on your protection once again at night.” The two generals left after 
expressing their gratitude, and for the following two or three nights their standing guard brought continued peace. However, the royal 
appetite diminished and the illness became more severe. Taizong, moreover, could not bear to see the two generals overworked. So 
once again he called Shubao, Jingde, the ministers Du and Fang into the palace, saying to them, “Though I got some rest these past two 
days, I have imposed on the two generals the hardship of staying up all night. I wish to have portraits made of both of them by a skilled 
painter and have these pasted on the door, so that the two generals will be spared any further labor. How about it?” The various 
ministers obeyed; they selected two portrait painters, who made pictures of the two generals in their proper battle attire. The portraits 
were then mounted near the gate, and no incident occurred during the night. 

So it was for two or three days, until the loud rattling of bricks and tiles was again heard at the rear gate of the palace. At dawn the 
emperor called together the various ministers, saying to them, “For the past few days there have been, happily, no incidents at the front 
of the palace, but last night the noises at the back door were such that they nearly frightened me to death.” Mougong stepped forward 
and said, “The disturbances at the front door were driven off by Jingde and Shubao. If there is disturbance at the rear gate, then Wei 
Zheng ought to stand guard.” Taizong approved the suggestion and ordered Wei Zheng to guard the rear door that night. Accepting the 

charge, Wei donned his full court regalia that evening; holding the sword with which he had slain the dragon, he stood at attention 
before the rear gate of the palace. What splendid heroic stature! Look how he is attired: 

'•een satin turban swaths his brow: 

le silk robe’s jade belt is waist-hung; 

indblown, craned-down sleeves fly like drifting snow. 

2 bests Lii and Shu’s divine looks. ^ 

Is feet wear black boots most supple; 

Is hands hold a blade sharp and fierce, 
ith glaring eyes he stared at all four sides, 
hich deviant god dares approach 

A whole night went by and no ghost appeared. But though there were no incidents at either the front or the rear gate, the emperor’s 
condition worsened. One day the queen mother sent for all the ministers to discuss funeral arrangements. Taizong himself also 
summoned Xu Mougong to his bedside to entrust to him the affairs of state, committing the crown prince to the minister’s care as Liu 
Bei did to Zhuge Liang. 36 When he had finished speaking, he bathed and changed his garments, waiting for his time to come. Wei 
Zheng then stepped out from the side and tugged the royal garment with his hand, saying, “Let Your Majesty be relieved. Your subject 
knows something that will guarantee long life for Your Majesty.” 

“My illness,” said Taizong, “has reached the irremediable stage; my life is in danger. How can you preserve it?” “Your subject has a 
letter here,” said Wei, “which I submit to Your Majesty to take with you to Hell and give to the Judge of the Underworld, Jue.” 

“Who is Cui Jue?” asked Taizong. 

“Cui Jue,” said Wei, “was the subject of the deceased emperor, your father: at first he was the district magistrate of Cizhou, and 
subsequently he was promoted to vice president of the Board of Rites. When he was alive, he was an intimate friend and sworn brother 
of your subject. Now that he is dead, he has become a judge in the capital of the Underworld, having in his charge the chronicles of life 
and death in the region of darkness. He meets with me frequently, however, in my dreams. If you go there presently and hand this letter 
to him, he will certainly remember his obligation toward your lowly subject and allow Your Majesty to return here. Surely your soul 
will return to the human world, and your royal countenance will once more grace the capital.” When Taizong heard these words, he 
took the letter in his hands and put it in his sleeve; with that, he closed his eyes and died. Those queens and concubines from three 
palaces and six chambers, the crown prince and the two rows of civil and military officials, all put on their mourning garb to mourn 
him, as the imperial coffin lay in state at the Hall of the White Tiger, but we shall say no more about that. 


Having toured the Underworld, Taizong returns to life; 

Having presented melons and fruits, Liu Quan marries again. 

The poem says: 1 

hundred years pass by like flowing streams; 
ke froth and foam a lifetime's work now seems, 
sterday faces had a peach's glow; 

•day the temples float up flakes of snow, 
rmites disband—illusion then you ’ll learn ft 
ickoos calfi gravely for your early return. 

■cret good works will always life prolong, 
rtue’s not needy for Heav 'n's care is strong. 

We now tell you about Taizong, whose soul drifted out of the Tower of Five Phoenixes. Everything was blurred and indistinct. It 
seemed to him that a company of imperial guardsmen was inviting him to a hunting party, to which Taizong gladly gave his consent 
and went off with them. They had journeyed for a long time when suddenly all the men and horses vanished from sight. He was left 
alone, walking the deserted fields and desolate plains. As he anxiously tried to find his way back, he heard someone from beyond 
calling in a loud voice: “Great Tang Emperor, come over here! Come over here!” Taizong heard this and looked up. He saw that the 
man had 

black gauze cap on his head; 
linoceros horns around his waist. 

Is head’s black gauze hat dangled pliant bands: 
is waist's rhino horns displayed plates of gold. 

2 held an ivory plaque sheathed in hallowed mist; 

2 wore a silk robe circled by holy light, 
is feet put on a pair of white-soled boots 
)r treading cloud and climbing fog; 

2 grasped by his heart a book of life and death, 
hich determined one’s fate, 
is hair, luxuriant, flew above his ears: 
is beard fluttered and danced around his jaws. 

2 was once a prime minister of Tang: 
yw he judged cases to serve Yama King. 

Taizong walked toward him, and the man, kneeling at the side of the road, said to him, “Your Majesty, please pardon your subject for 
neglecting to meet you at a greater distance.” “Who are you,” asked Taizong, “and for what reason did you come to meet me?” The 
man said, “Half a month ago, your lowly subject met in the Halls of Darkness the Dragon Ghost of the Jing River, who was filing suit 
against Your Majesty for having him executed after promising to save him. So the great king Qinguang of the first chamber 
immediately sent demon messengers to arrest you and bring you to trial before the Three Tribunes. Your subject learned of this and 
therefore came here to receive you. I did not expect to come late today, and I beg you to forgive me.” 

“What is your name,” said Taizong, “and what is your rank?” “When your lowly subject was alive,” said that man, “he served on 
Earth before the previous emperor as the district magistrate of Cizhou. Afterwards I was appointed vice president of the Board of Rites. 
My surname is Cui and my given name is Jue. In the Region of Darkness I hold a judgeship in the Capital of Death.” Taizong was very 
glad; he went forward and held out his royal hands to raise the man up, saying, “I am sorry to have inconvenienced you. Wei Zheng, 
who serves before my throne, has a letter for you. I’m glad that we have a chance to meet here.” The judge expressed his gratitude and 
asked where the letter was. Taizong took it out of his sleeve and handed it over to Cui Jue, who received it, bowing, and then opened it 
and read: 

Your unworthily beloved brother Wei Zheng sends with bowed head this letter to the Great Judge, my sworn brother the Honorable Mr. Cui. I recall our former goodly society, and both your voice and 
your countenance seem to be present with me. Several years have hastened by since I last heard your lofty discourse. I could only prepare a few vegetables and fruits to offer to you as sacrifices during 
the festive times of the year, though I do not know whether you have enjoyed them or not. I am grateful, however, that you have not forgotten me, and that you have revealed to me in my dreams that 
you, my elder brother, have ascended to an even higher office. Unfortunately, the worlds of Light and Darkness are separated by a gulf wide as the Heavens, so that we cannot meet face to face. The 
reason that I am writing you now is the sudden demise of my emperor, the accomplished Taizong, whose case, I suppose, will be reviewed by the Three Tribunes, so that he will certainly be given the 
opportunity to meet you. I earnestly beseech you to remember our friendship while you were living and grant me the small favor of allowing His Majesty to return to life. This will be a very great favor 
to me, for which I thank you once more. 

After reading the letter, the judge said with great delight, “The execution of the old dragon the other day by the human judge Wei is 
already known to your subject, who greatly admires hint for this deed. I am, moreover, indebted to hint for looking after my children. 
Since he has written such a letter now, Your Majesty need have no further concern. Your lowly subject will make certain that you will 
be returned to life, to ascend once more your throne of jade.” Taizong thanked hint. 

As the two of them were speaking, they saw in the distance two young boys in blue robes holding banners and flags and calling out, 
“The King of the Underworld has an invitation for you.” Taizong went forward with Judge Cui and the two boys. He suddenly saw a 
huge city, and on a large plaque above the city gate was the inscription in gold letters, “The Region of Darkness, The Gate of Spirits.” 
Waving the banners, the blue robes led Taizong into the city. As they walked along, they saw at the side of the street the emperor’s 
predecessor Li Yuan, his elder brother Jiancheng, and his deceased brother Yuanji, who came toward them, shouting, “Here comes 
ShiminP Here comes Shimin!” The brothers clutched at Taizong and began beating him and threatening vengeance. Having no place to 
dodge, the emperor fell into their clutch; and only when Judge Cui called a blue-faced, hook-tusked demon to drive them away could 
he escape and continue his journey. 

They had traveled no more than a few miles when they arrived at a towering edifice with green tiles. This building was truly 
magnificent. You see 

ghtly ten thousand folds of colored mists pile high; 

Imly a thousand strands of crimson brume appear, 
zads of wild beasts rear up from the eaves aglow, 
tirs of lamben t roof tiles rise in tiers of five. 

>ws of red-gold nails bore deeply into doors; 

-osswise, slabs of white jade make up the rails, 
indows near the lights release morning smoke, 
le screens, the curtains, flash like fiery bolts. 

•gh-rising towers reach to the azure sky. 

•iss-crossing hallways join the treasure rooms. 

•agrance from beast-shaped tripods line royal robes; 
arlet silk lanterns brighten the portals ’ leaves, 
n the left, hordes of fierce Bull-heads stand; 
n the right, gruesome Horse-faces line up. 
old placards turn to greet the ghosts of the dead; 
hite silk descends to lead the deceased souls, 
bears this name: The Central Gate of Hell, 
te Darkness Hall of the Princes of Hades. 

As Taizong was looking at the place, there came from within the tinkling of girdle jade, the mysterious fragrance of divine incense, 
and two pairs of torch candles followed by the Ten Kings of the Underworld coming down the steps. The Ten Kings were: King 
Qinguang, King of the Beginning River, King of the Song Emperor, King of Avenging Ministers, King Yama, King of Equal Ranks, 
King of the Tai Mountain, King of City Markets, King of Complete Change, and King of the Turning Wheel. Coming out of the 
Treasure Hall of Darkness, they bowed to receive Taizong, who, feigning modesty, declined to lead the way. The Ten Kings said, “Your 
Majesty is the emperor of men in the World of Light, whereas we are but the kings of spirits in the World of Darkness. Such are indeed 
our appointed stations, so why should you defer to us?” “I’m afraid that I have offended all of you,” said Taizong, “so how can I dare 
to speak of observing the etiquette of ghosts and men, of Light and Darkness?” Only after much protestation did Taizong proceed into 
the Hall of Darkness. After he had greeted the Ten Kings properly, they sat down according to the places assigned to hosts and guests. 

After a little while, King Qinguang folded his hands in front of him and came forward, saying, “The Dragon Spirit of the Jing River 
accuses Your Majesty of having him slain after promising to save hint. Why?” “I did promise him that nothing would happen,” said 
Taizong, “when the old dragon appealed to me in my dream at night. He was guilty, you know, and was condemned to be executed by 
the human judge Wei Zheng. It was to save hint that I invited Wei Zheng to play chess with me, not anticipating that Wei Zheng could 
have performed the execution in his dream! That was indeed a miraculous stratagem devised by the human judge, and, after all, the 
dragon was also guilty of a mortal offense. 1 fail to see how I am to blame.” When the Ten Kings heard these words, they replied, 
bowing, “Even before that dragon was bom, it was already written on the Book of Death held by the Star of South Pole that he should 
be slain by a human judge. We have known this all along, but the dragon lodged his complaint here and insisted that Your Majesty be 
brought down so that his case might be reviewed by the Three Tribunes. We have already sent him on his way to his next incarnation 
through the Wheel of Transmigration. We regret, however, that we have caused Your Majesty the inconvenience of this journey, and 
we beg your pardon for pressing you to come here.” 

When they had finished speaking, they ordered the judge in charge of the Books of Life and Death to bring out the records quickly 
so that they could ascertain what the allotted time of the emperor was to be. Judge Cui went at once to his chamber and examined, one 
by one, the ages preordained for all the kings in the world that were inscribed in the books. Startled when he saw that the Great Tang 
Emperor Taizong of the South Jambudvlpa Continent was destined to die in the thirteenth year of the period Zhenguan, he quickly 
dipped his big brush in thick ink and added two strokes 6 before presenting the book. The Ten Kings took one look and saw that “thirty- 
three years” was written beneath the name Taizong. They asked in alarm, “How long has it been since Your Majesty was enthroned?” 
“It has been thirteen years,” said Taizong. “Your Majesty need have no worry,” said King Yama, “for you still have twenty years of 
life. Now that your case has been clearly reviewed, we can send you back to the World of Light.” When Taizong heard this, he bowed 
to express his gratitude as the Ten Kings ordered Judge Cui and Grand Marshal Chu to accompany him back to life. 

Taizong walked out of the Hall of Darkness and asked, saluting the Ten Kings once again, “What’s going to happen to those living in 
my palace?” “Everyone will be safe,” said the Ten Kings, “except your younger sister. It appears that she will not live long.” “When I 
return to the World of Light,” said Taizong, bowing again to thank them, “I have very little that I can present you as a token of my 
gratitude. Perhaps I can send you some melons or other kinds of fruit?” Delighted, the Ten Kings said, “We have eastern and western 
melons here, but we lack southern melons.” 7 “The moment I get back,” said Taizong, “I shall send you some.” They bowed to each 
other with hands folded, and parted. 

The marshal took the lead, holding a flag for guiding souls, while Judge Cui followed behind to protect Taizong. They walked out of 
the Region of Darkness, and Taizong saw that it was not the same road. He asked the judge, “Are we going on the wrong way?” “No,” 
said the judge, “for this is how it is in the Region of Darkness: there is away for you to come, but there is no way out. Now we must 
send Your Majesty off from the region of the Wheel of Transmigration, so that you can make a tour of Hell as well as be sent on your 
way to reincarnation.” Taizong had little alternative but to follow their lead. 

They had gone only a few miles when they came upon a tall mountain. Dark clouds touched the ground around it, and black mists 
shrouded the sky. “Mr. Cui,” said Taizong, “what mountain is this?” The judge said, “It’s the Mountain of Perpetual Shade in the 
Region of Darkness.” “How can we go there?” asked Taizong fearfully. “Your Majesty need not worry,” said the judge, “for your 
subjects are here to guide you.” Shaking and quaking, Taizong followed the two of them and ascended the slope. He raised his head to 
look around and saw that 

: shape was both craggy and curvate, 
id its form was even more tortuous, 
igged like the Shu peaks , ^ 
ll like the Lu summits; 

was not a famed mountain in the World of Light, 
it a treacherous place in the Region of Darkness, 
lickets of thorns sheltered monsters; 
ers of stone ridges harbored demons. 

7 sound of fowl or beast came to one’s ears; 
nly ghosts or griffins walked before one’s eyes. 

te howling cold wind; 
te endless black mist — 

le howling cold wind was the huffing of infernal hosts; 
te endless black mist was the puffing of demonic troops, 
tere was no scenic splendor though one looked high and low; 
l was desolation when one stared left and right, 
that place there were mountains 
id peaks, 
id summits, 
id caves, 
id streams; 

nly no grass grew on the mountains; 

7 peaks punctured the sky; 

7 travelers scaled the summits; 

7 caves ever harbored the clouds; 
y water flowed in the streams, 
ley were all specters on the shores, 
id bogies beneath the cliffs, 
le phantoms huddled in the caves, 
id lost souls hid on stream-floors. 

I around the mountain, 

ill-heads and Horse-faces wildly clamored; 

ilf hidden and half in sight, 

'Angry ghosts and needy souls often wept, 
le judge in quest of souls, 
haste and fury delivered his summons; 
te guard who chased the spirits, 
i orted and shouted to present his papers, 
le Swift of Foot: 
boiling cyclone! 
le Soul Snatcher: 
spreading dark mist! 

Had he not trusted in the judge’s protection, Taizong would have never made it across this Mountain of Perpetual Shade. 

As they proceeded, they came to a place where there were many halls and chambers; everywhere they turned, melancholy cries 
blasted their ears and grotesque sights struck terror in their hearts. “What is this place?” asked Taizong again. “The Eighteenfold Hell 
behind the Mountain of Perpetual Shade,” said the judge. “What is that?” said Taizong. The judge replied, “Listen to what I have to 

ie Hell of the Rack, 
le Hell of Gloomy Guilt, 
i e Hell of the Fiery Pit: 
l such sorrow, 
l such desolation, 

•e caused by a thousand sins committed in the life before; 

tey all come to suffer after they die. 

le Hell of Hades, 

ie Hell of Tongue-Pulling, 

ie Hell of Skin-Shredding: 

l those weeping and wailing, 

l those pining and mourning, 

vait the traitors, the rebels, and the Heaven baiters; 

? of Buddha-mouth and serpent-heart will end up here. 

ie Hell of Grinding, 

le Hell of Pounding, 

le Hell of Crushing; 

ith frayed skin and torn flesh, 

Aping mouths and grinding teeth, 

lese are they who cheat and lie to work injustice, 

ho fawn and flatter to deceive. 

le Hell of Ice, 

ie Hell of Mutilation, 

le Hell of Evisceration: 

ith grimy face and matted hair, 

tilted brow and doleful look, 

lese are they who fleece the simple with weights unjust, 

id so bring ruin upon themselves. 

le Hell of Boiling Oil, 

le Hell of Grim Darkness, 

i e Hell of the Sword Mountain: 

ley shake and quake; 

tey sorrow and pine: 

7 r oppressing the righteous by violence and fraud 

ley now must cower in their lonely pain. 

ie Hell of the Pool of Blood, 

ie Hell of Avici? 

i e Hell of Scales and Weights: 

l the skins peeled and bones exposed, 

i e limbs cut and the tendons severed, 

•e caused by murder stemming from greed, 

le taking of life of both humans and beasts. 

teir fall has no reversal in a thousand years — 

ernal perdition without release. 

ich is firmly bound and tightly tied, 

tackled by both ropes and cords. 

ie slightest move brings on the Red-hair demons, 

ie Black-face demons, 

ith long spears and sharp swords; 

i e Bull-head demons, 

le Horse-face demons, 

ith iron spikes and bronze gavels, 

tey strike till faces contort and blood flows down, 

it cries to Earth and Heaven find no response. 

i it is that man ought not his own conscience betray, 

7 r gods have knowledge, who could get away? 
tus vice and virtue will at last be paid: 
differs only in coming soon or late. ” 

When Taizong heard these words, he was terror-stricken. They went on for a little while and came upon a group of demon soldiers, 
each holding banners and flags and kneeling beside the road. “The Guards of the Bridges have come to receive you,” they said. The 
judge ordered them to make way and proceeded to lead Taizong across a golden bridge. Looking to one side, Taizong saw another 
silver bridge, on which there were several travelers who seemed to be persons of principle and rectitude, justice and honesty. They too 
were led by banners and flags. On the other side was another bridge, with icy wind churning around it and bloody waves seething 
below. The continuous sound of weeping and wailing could be heard. “What is the name of that bridge?” asked Taizong. “Your 
Majesty,” said the judge, “it is the No-Option Bridge. When you reach the World of Light, you must have this recorded for posterity. 
For below the bridge there is nothing but 

vast body of surging water; 
strait and treacherous path; 
ke bales of raw silk flowing down the Long River, 

“ the Pit of Fire floating up to Earth, 

lis cold air, oppressive, this bone-piercing chill; 

lis foul stench both irksome and nauseous. 

le waves roll and swirl; 

o boat comes or goes to ferry men across; 

ith naked feet and tangled hair 

lose moving here and there are all damned spirits. 

te bridge is a few miles long 

it only three spans wide. 

: height measures a hundred feet; 

’low, a thousand fathoms deep, 
n top are no railways for hands to hold; 
meath you have man-seizing savage fiends 
ho, bound by cangues and locks, 
ght to flee No-Option’s parlous path. 

>ok at those ferocious guardians beside the bridge 
id those damned souls in the river—how truly wretched! 
n branches and twigs 

'othes of green, red, yellow, and purple silk hang; 

’.low the precipice 

rumpets crouch for having abused their own in-laws, 
on dogs and brass serpents will strive to feed on them, 
teir fall's eternal—there is no way out. ” 

The poem says: 

hosts are heard wailing; demons often cry 
: waves of blood rise ten thousand feet high, 
orse-faces and Bull-heads by countless scores 
lis No-Option Bridge grimly fortify. 

While Taizong and his guides were speaking, the several Guardians of the Bridge went back to their station. Terrified by his vision, 
Taizong could only nod his head in silent horror. He followed the judge and the grand marshal across the malicious water of the No- 
Option River and the bitter Realm of the Bloody Bowl. Soon they arrived at the City of the Dead, where clamoring voices were heard 
proclaiming distinctly, “Li Shimin has come! Li Shimin has come!” When Taizong heard all this shouting, his heart shook and his gall 
quivered. Then he saw a throng of spirits, some with backs broken by the rack, some with severed limbs, and some headless, who 
barred his way and shouted together, “Give us back our lives! Give us back our lives!” In terror Taizong tried desperately to flee and 
hide, at the same time crying, “Mr. Cui, save me! Mr. Cui, save me!” 

“Your Majesty,” said the judge, “these are the spirits of various princes and their underlings, of brigands and robbers from sundry 
places. Through works of injustice, both theirs and others’, they perished and are now cut off from salvation because there is none to 
receive them or care for them. Since they have no money or belongings, they are ghosts abandoned to hunger and cold. Only if Your 
Majesty can give them some money will I be able to offer you deliverance.” “I came here,” said Taizong, “with empty hands. Where 
can I get money?” 

“Your Majesty,” said the judge, “there is in the World of the Living a man who has deposited great sums of gold and silver in our 
Region of Darkness. You can use your name for a loan, and your lowly judge will serve as your voucher; we shall borrow a roomful of 
money from him and distribute it among the hungry ghosts. You will then be able to get past them.” “Who is this man?” asked 
Taizong. “He’s a man from the Kaifeng District in Henan Province,” said the judge. “His given name is Liang and his surname is 
Xiang. He has thirteen rooms of gold and silver down here. If Your Majesty borrows from him, you can repay him when you return to 
the World of Light.” Highly pleased and more than willing to use his name for the loan, Taizong at once signed a note for the judge. He 
borrowed a roomful of gold and silver, and the grand marshal was asked to distribute the money among the ghosts. The judge also 
instructed them, saying, “You may divide up these pieces of silver and gold among yourselves and use them accordingly. Let the Great 
Tang Father pass, for he still has a long time to live. By the solemn word of the Ten Kings I am accompanying him to return to life. 
When he reaches the world of the living, he has been instructed to hold a Grand Mass of Land and Water for your salvation. 10 So don’t 
start any more trouble.” When the ghosts heard these words and received the silver and gold, they obeyed and turned back. The judge 
ordered the grand marshal to wave the flag for guiding souls, and led Taizong out of the City of the Dead. They set out again on a 
broad and level path, leaving quickly with light, airy steps. 

They traveled for a long time and arrived at the junction of the Sixfold Path of Transmigration. They saw some people who rode the 
clouds wearing embroidered capes, and some with Daoist amulets of gold fish dangling from their waists; there were in fact monks, 
nuns, Daoists, and secular persons, and all varieties of beasts and fowls, ghosts and spirits. In an unending stream they all ran beneath 
the Wheel of Transmigration to enter each into a predestined path. “What is the meaning of this?” asked the Tang emperor. “Your 
Majesty,” said the judge, “as your mind is enlightened to perceive the pervasive immanence of the Buddha-nature in all things, you 
must remember this and proclaim it in the World of the Living. This is called the Sixfold Path of Transmigration. Those who perform 
good works will ascend to the way of the immortals; those who remain patriotic to the end will advance to the way of nobility; those 
who practice filial piety will be bom again into the way of blessing; those who are just and honest will enter once more into the way of 

humans; those who cherish virtue will proceed to the way of riches; those who are vicious and violent will fall back into the way of 
demons.” When the Tang emperor heard this, he nodded his head and sighed, saying, 

lh, how truly good is goodness! 

• do good will never bring illness! 
a good heart always abide, 
n a good way your door fling wide. 

•t no evil thoughts arise, 

id all mischief you must despise. 

on’t say there s no retribution, 

)r gods have their disposition. ” 

The judge accompanied the Tang emperor up to the very entrance to the way of nobility before he prostrated himself and called out, 
“Your Majesty, this is where you must proceed, and here your humble judge will take leave of you. I am asking Grand Marshal Zhu to 
accompany you a little further.” The Tang emperor thanked him, saying, “I’m sorry, sir, that you have had to travel such great distance 
on my account.” “When Your Majesty returns to the World of Light,” said the judge, “be very certain that you celebrate the Grand 
Mass of Land and Water so that those wretched, homeless souls may be delivered. Please do not forget! Only if there is no murmuring 
for vengeance in the Region of Darkness will there be the prosperity of peace in your World of Light. If there are any wicked ways in 
your life, you must change them one by one, and you must teach your subjects far and wide to do good. You may be assured then that 
your empire will be firmly established, and that your fame will go down to posterity.” The Tang emperor promised to grant each one of 
the judge’s requests. 

Having parted from Judge Cui, he followed Grand Marshal Zhu and entered the gate. The grand marshal saw inside a black-maned 
bay horse complete with rein and saddle. Lending the emperor assistance from left and right, he quickly helped him mount it. The 
horse shot forward like an arrow, and soon they reached the bank of the Wei River, where a pair of golden carps could be seen 
frolicking on top of the waves. Pleased by what he saw, the Tang emperor reined in his horse and stopped to watch. “Your Majesty,” 
said the grand marshal, “let’s hurry and get you back into your city while there is still time.” But the emperor persisted in his 
indulgence and refused to go forward. The grand marshal grabbed one of his legs and shouted, “You still won’t move? What are you 
waiting for?” With a loud splash, he was pushed off his horse into the Wei River, and thus he left the Region of Darkness and returned 
to the World of Light. 

We shall now tell you about those who served before the Throne in the Tang dynasty. Xu Mougong, Qin Shubao, Hu Jingde, Duan 
Zhixian, Ma Sanbao, Cheng Yaojin, Gao Shilian, Li Shiji, Fang Xuanling, Du Ruhui, Xiao Yu, Fu Yi, Zhang Daoyuan, Zhang Shiheng, 
and Wang Guei constituted the two groups of civil and military officials. They gathered with the crown prince of the Eastern Palace, 
the queen, the ladies of the court, and the chief steward in the Hall of the White Tiger for the imperial mourning. At the same time, 
they discussed issuing the obituary proclamation for the whole empire and crowning the prince as emperor. From one side of the hall, 
Wei Zheng stepped forward and said, “All of you, please refrain from doing anything hasty. If you alarm the various districts and cities, 
you may bring about something undesirable and unexpected. Let’s wait here for another day, for our lord will surely come back to 

“What nonsense you are talking. Prime Minister Wei,” said Xu Jingzong, coming from below, “for the ancient proverb says, ‘Just as 
spilled water cannot be retrieved, so a dead man can never return!' Why do you mouth such empty words to vex our minds? What 
reason do you have for this?” “To tell you the truth, Mr. Xu,” said Wei Zheng, “I have been instructed since my youth in the arts of 
immortality. My calculations are most accurate, and I promise you that His Majesty will not die.” 

As they were talking, they suddenly heard a loud voice crying in the coffin, “You’ve drowned me! You’ve drowned me!” It so 
startled the civil and military officials, and so terrified the queen and the ladies, that every one of them had 

face brown as autumnal mulberry leaves, 
body limp as the willow of early spring, 
te legs of the crown prince buckled, 

? could not hold the mourning staff to finish his rites, 
te soul of the steward left him, 

2 could not wear the mourning cap to show his grief 

te matrons collapsed; 

te ladies pitched sideways; 

te matrons collapsed 

ke weak hibiscus blasted by savage wind. 

te ladies pitched sideways 

ke lilies overwhelmed by sudden rain. 

le petrified lords — 

leir bones and tendons feeble — 

embled and shook, 

l dumb and awestruck. 

te whole White Tiger Hall was like a bridge with broken beams; 
te funeral stage resembled a temple wrecked. 

Every person attending the court ran away, and no one dared approach the coffin. Only the upright Xu Mougong, the rational Prime 
Minister Wei, the courageous Qin Qiong, and the impulsive Jingde came forward and took hold of the coffin. “Your Majesty,” they 
cried, “if there’s something bothering you, tell us about it. Don’t play ghost and terrify your relatives!” 

Then, however, Wei Zheng said, “He’s not playing ghost. His Majesty is coming back to life! Get some tools, quick!” They opened 
the top of the coffin and saw indeed that Taizong was sitting up inside, still shouting, “You’ve drowned me! Who bailed me out?” 
Mougong and the rest of them went forward to lift him up, saying, “Don’t be afraid, Your Majesty, and wake up. Your subjects are here 
to protect you.” Only then did the Tang emperor open his eyes and say, “How I suffered just now! I barely escaped attack by spiteful 
demons from the Region of Darkness, only to encounter death by drowning!” “Have no fear, Your Majesty,” said the ministers. “What 
kind of calamity occurred in the water?” “I was riding a horse,” the Tang emperor said, “when we came near the Wei River where two 
fishes were playing. That deceitful Grand Marshal Zhu pushed me off my horse into the river, and I was almost drowned.” 

“His Majesty is still not entirely free from the influences of the dead,” said Wei Zheng. He quickly ordered from the imperial 
dispensary medicinal broth designed to calm his spirit and fortify his soul. They also prepared some rice gruel, and only after taking 

such nourishments once or twice did he become his old self again, fully regaining his living senses. A quick calculation revealed that 
the Tang emperor had been dead for three days and nights and then returned to life to rule again. We have thus a testimonial poem: 

om ancient times how oft the world has changed! 

•story is full of kingdoms that rise and fall. 

)untless were the wonders of Zhou, Han, and Jin. 
hich could match King Tang's from death to life recall? 

By then it was dusk; the various ministers withdrew after they had seen the emperor retire. The next day, they took off their 
mourning garb and changed into their court attire: everyone had on his red robe and black cap, his purple sash and gold medal, waiting 
outside the gate to be summoned to court. We now tell you about Taizong, who, having received the medicine prescribed for calming 
his spirit and fortifying his soul, and having taken the rice broth several times, was carried into his bedchamber by his attendants. He 
slept soundly that whole night, and when he arose at dawn, his spirit was fully revived. Look how he was attired: 

2 donned a tall, royal cap; 

2 wore a dark ocher robe; 

2 put on a belt ofgreen jade from Blue Mountain; 

2 trod a pair of empire-building carefree boots, 
is stunning looks 
'.rpassed anyone in court: 
ith power to spare 
2 resumed his reign. 

hat a great Tang emperor of justice and truth, 
le Majestic Li who rose again from the dead! 

The Tang emperor went up to the Treasure Hall of the Golden Carriage and gathered together the two groups of civil and military 
officials, who, after shouting “Long live the emperor” three times, stood in attention according to rank and file. Then they heard this 
loud announcement: “If there is any business, come forth and make your memorial; if there is no business, you are dismissed from 

From the east came the row of civil officials and from the west came the row of military officials; they all went forward and 
prostrated themselves before the steps of white jade. “Your Majesty,” they said, “may we inquire how you awoke from your slumber, 
which lasted so long?” 

“On that day, after we had received the letter from Wei Zheng,” said Taizong, “we felt that our soul had departed from these halls, 
having been invited by the imperial guardsmen to join a hunting party. As we were traveling, the men and horses both disappeared, 
whereupon my father, the former emperor, and my deceased brothers came to hassle us. We would not have been able to escape them 
had it not been for the arrival of someone in black cap and robe; this man happened to be the judge Cui Jue, who managed to send my 
deceased brothers away. We handed Wei Zheng’s letter over to him, and as he was reading it, some boys in blue came to lead us with 
flags and banners to the Hall of Darkness, where we were met by the Ten Kings of the Underworld. They told us of the Jing River 
Dragon, who accused us of having him slain after promising to save him. We in turn explained to them what happened, and they 
assured us that our case had been jointly reviewed by the Three Tribunes. Then they asked for the Chronicles of Life and Death to 
examine what was to be our allotted age. Judge Cui presented his books, and King Yama, after checking them, said that Heaven had 
assigned us a portion of thirty-three years. Since we had ruled for only thirteen years, we were entitled to twenty more years of living. 
So Grand Marshal Zhu and Judge Cui were ordered to send us back here. We took leave of the Ten Kings and promised to thank them 
with gifts of melons and other fruits. After our departure from the Hall of Darkness, we encountered in the Underworld all those who 
were treasonous to the state and disloyal to their parents, those who practiced neither virtue nor righteousness, those who squandered 
the five grains, those who cheated openly or in secret, those who indulged in unjust weights and measurements—in sum, the rapists, 
the thieves, the liars, the hypocrites, the wantons, the deviates, the connivers, and the lawbreakers. They were all suffering from 
various tortures by grinding, burning, pounding, sawing, frying, boiling, hanging, and skinning. There were tens of thousands of them, 
and we could not make an end of this ghastly sight. Thereafter we passed by the City of the Dead, filled with the souls of brigands and 
bandits from all over the Earth, who came to block our path. Fortunately, Judge Cui was willing to vouch for us, and we could then 
borrow a roomful of gold and silver from Old Man Xiang of Henan to buy off the spirits before we could proceed once more. We 
finally parted after Judge Cui had repeatedly instructed us that when we returned to the World of Light we were to celebrate a Grand 
Mass of Land and Water for the salvation of those orphaned spirits. After leaving the Sixfold Path of Transmigration, Grand Marshal 
Zhu asked us to mount a horse so swift it seemed to be flying, and brought me to the bank of the Wei River. As we were enjoying the 
sight of two fishes playing in the water, he grabbed our legs and pushed us into the river. Only then did we come back to life.” When 
the various ministers heard these words, they all praised and congratulated the emperor. A notice was also sent out to every town and 
district in the empire, and all the officials presented gratulatory memorials, which we shall mention no further. 

We shall now tell you about Taizong, who proclaimed a general amnesty for the prisoners in the empire. Moreover, he asked for an 
inventory of those convicted of capital crimes, and the judge from the Board of Justice submitted some four hundred names of those 
awaiting death by beheading or hanging. Taizong granted them one year’s leave to return to their families, so that they could settle their 
affairs and put their property in order before going to the marketplace to receive their just deserts. The prisoners all thanked him for 
such grace before departing. After issuing another edict for the care and welfare of orphans, Taizong also released some three thousand 
court maidens and concubines from the palace and married them off to worthy military officers. From that time on, his reign was truly 
a virtuous one, to which we have a testimonial poem: 

'-eat is the virtue of the Great Tang Ruler! 

'.rpassing Sage Kings, he makes his people prosper, 
ve hundred convicts may now leave the prison; 
iree thousand maidens find release from the palace, 
le empire’s officials all wish him long life, 
le ministers at court all give him high praise. 

\ch good heart, once stirred, the Heavens should bless, 
id pass such weal to seventeen generations. 

After releasing the court maidens and convicts, Taizong also issued another proclamation to be posted throughout the empire. The 
proclamation read: 

ie cosmos, though vast, 

brightly surveyed by the sun and the moon; 

ie world, though immense, 

iproves not villains in Heaven or on Earth. 

your intent is trickery, 

>en this life will bring retribution; 

your giving exceeds receiving, 

lere's blessing not only in the life hereafter. 

thousand clever designs 

■e not as living according to one's duties; 

n thousand men of violence 

innot compare with one frugal and content. 

you ’re bent on good works and mercy, 

°.ed you read the sutras with diligence? 
you intend to harm others, 

>en the learning of Buddha is vain! 

From that time on, there was not a single person in the empire who did not practice virtue. 

Meanwhile, another notice was posted asking for a volunteer to take the melons and other fruits to the Region of Darkness. At the 
same time, a roomful of gold and silver from the treasury was sent with the Imperial Duke of Khotan, Hu Jingde, to the Kaifeng 
District of Henan so that the debt to Xiang Liang could be repaid. After the notice had been posted for some days, a worthy came forth 
to volunteer his life for the mission. He was originally from Zunzhou; his surname was Liu and his given name Quan, and he belonged 
to a family of great wealth. The reason he came forward was that his wife, Li Cuilian, happened to have given a gold hairpin from her 
head, by way of alms, to a monk in front of their house. When Liu Quan chided her for her indiscretion in flaunting herself outside 
their home, Li became so upset that she promptly hanged herself, leaving behind her a pair of young children, who wept piteously day 
and night. Liu Quan was so filled with remorse by the sight of them that he was willing to leave life and property to take the melons to 
hell. He therefore took down the royal notice and came to see the Tang emperor. The emperor ordered him to go to the Lodge of the 
Golden Pavilion, where a pair of southern melons were put on his head, some money in his sleeve, and some medicine in his mouth. 

So Liu Quan died by taking poison. His soul, still bearing the fruits on his head, arrived at the Gate of Spirits. The demon guardian 
at the door shouted, “Who are you that you dare to come here?” “By the imperial command of the Great Tang Emperor Taizong,” said 
Liu Quan, “I came here especially to present melons and other fruits for the enjoyment of the Ten Kings of the Underworld.” The 
demon guardian received him amiably and led him to the Treasure Hall of Darkness. When he saw King Yama, he presented the 
melons, saying, “By order of the Tang emperor, I came from afar to present these melons as a token of thanks for the gracious 
hospitality of the Ten Kings.” Highly pleased, King Yama said, “That Emperor Taizong is certainly a man of his word!” He accepted 
the melons and proceeded to ask the messenger about his name and his home. “Your humble servant,” said Liu Quan, “resided 
originally in Junzhou; my surname is Liu and my given name is Quan. Because my wife hanged herself, leaving no one to care for our 
children, I decided to leave home and children and sacrifice my life for the country by helping my emperor to take these melons here as 
a thank offering.” 

When the Ten Kings heard these words, they asked at once for Li, the wife of Liu Quan; she was brought in by the demon guardian, 
and wife and husband had a reunion before the Hall of Darkness. They conversed about what had happened and also thanked the Ten 
Kings for this meeting. King Yama, moreover, examined the Books of Life and Death and found that both husband and wife were 
supposed to live to a ripe old age. He quickly ordered the demon guardian to take them back to life, but the guardian said, “Since Li 
Cuilian has been back in the World of Darkness for many days, her body no longer exists. To whom should her soul attach herself?” 

“The emperor’s sister, Li Yuying,” said King Yama, “is destined to die very soon. Borrow her body right away so that this woman 
can return to life.” The demon guardian obeyed the order and led Liu Quan and his wife out of the Region of Darkness to return to life. 


The Tang emperor, firmly sincere, convenes a Grand Mass; 

Guanyin, in epiphany, converts Gold Cicada. 

We were telling you about the demon guardian who was leading Liu Quan and his wife out of the Region of Darkness. Accompanied 
by a swirling dark wind, they went directly back to Chang’an of the great nation. The demon pushed the soul of Liu Quan into the 
Golden Court Pavilion Lodge, but the soul of Cuilian was brought into the inner court of the royal palace. Just then the Princess 
Yuying was walking beneath the shadows of flowers along a path covered with green moss. The demon guardian crashed right into her 
and pushed her to the ground; her living soul was snatched away and the soul of Cuilian was pushed into Yuying’s body instead. The 
demon guardian then returned to the Region of Darkness, and we shall say no more about that. 

We now tell you that the maidservants of the palace, both young and old, when they saw that Yuying had fallen and died, ran quickly 
to the Hall of the Golden Chimes and reported the incident to the queen, saying, “The princess has fallen and died!” Horrified, the 
queen reported it to Taizong. 

When Taizong heard the news, he nodded, sighing, and said, “So this has come to pass indeed! We did ask the King of Darkness 
whether the old and young of our family would be safe or not. He said, ‘They will all be safe, but I fear that your royal sister will not 
live long.’ Now his word is fulfilled.” All the inhabitants of the palace came to mourn her, but when they reached the spot where she 
had fallen, they saw that the princess was breathing. 

“Stop weeping! Stop weeping!” said the Tang emperor. “Don’t startle her!” He went forward and lifted her head with the royal hand, 
crying out, “Wake up, royal sister!” 

Our princess suddenly turned over and cried, “Husband, walk slowly! Wait for me!” “Sister,” said Taizong, “we are all here.” Lifting 
her head and opening her eyes to look around, the princess said, “Who are you that you dare touch me?” “This is your royal brother,” 
said Taizong, “and your sister in-law.” 

“Where do I have any royal brother and sister-in-law?” asked the princess. “My family is Li, and my maiden name is Li Cuilian. My 
husband’s surname is Liu and his given name is Quan. Both of us are from Junzhou. Because I pulled a golden hairpin to give to a 
monk outside our home as alms three months ago, my husband rebuked me for walking indiscreetly out of our doors and thus violating 
the etiquette appropriate to a woman. He scolded me, and I became so enraged that I hanged myself with a white silk cord, leaving 
behind a pair of children who wept night and day. On account of my husband, who was sent by the Tang emperor to the Region of 
Darkness to present melons, King Yama took pity on us and allowed us both to return to life. He was walking ahead; I could not keep 
up with him, tripped, and fell. How rude you all are! Not knowing my name, how dare you touch me!” When Taizong heard these 
words, he said to his attendants, "I suppose my sister was knocked senseless by the fall. She’s babbling!” He ordered that Yuying be 
helped into the palace and medicine be brought in from the court dispensary. 

As the Tang emperor went back to the court, one of his assistants came forward to report, saying, “Your Majesty, the man Liu Quan, 
who went to present the melons, has returned to life. He is now outside the gate, awaiting your order.” Greatly startled, the Tang 
emperor at once gave the order for Liu Quan to be brought in, who then prostrated himself before the redlacquered courtyard. Taizong 
asked him, “How did the presentation of melons come off?” 

“Your subject,” said Liu Quan, “bore the melons on his head and went straight to the Gate of Spirits. I was led to the Hall of 
Darkness, where I met the Ten Kings of the Underworld. I presented the melons and spoke at length about the sincere gratitude of my 
lord. King Yama was most delighted, and he complimented Your Majesty profusely, saying, ‘That Taizong emperor is indeed a man of 
virtue and a man of his word!’” “What did you happen to see in the Region of Darkness?” asked the Tang emperor. “Your subject did 
not travel far,” said Liu Quan, “and I did not see much, f only heard King Yama questioning me on my native village and my name. 
Your subject therefore gave him a full account of how 1 abandoned home and children because of my wife’s suicide and volunteered 
for the mission. He quickly sent for a demon guardian, who brought in my wife, and we were reunited at the Hah of Darkness. 
Meanwhile, they also examined the Books of Life and Death and told us that we both should live to a ripe old age. The demon 
guardian was dispatched to see us back to life. Your subject walked ahead, but my wife fell behind. 1 am grateful that f am now 
returned to life, but 1 do not know where my wife has gone.” 

Alarmed, the Tang emperor asked, “Did King Yama say anything about your wife?” “He didn’t say much,” said Liu Quan. “I only 
heard the demon guardian’s exclamation that Li Cuilian had been dead for so long that her body no longer existed. King Yama said, 
‘The royal sister, Li Yuying, should die shortly. Let Cuilian borrow the body of Yuying so that she may return to life.’ Your subject has 
no knowledge of who that royal sister is and where she resides, nor has he made any attempt to locate her.” 

When the Tang emperor heard this report, he was filled with delight and said to the many officials around him, “When we took leave 
of King Yama, we questioned hint with regard to the inhabitants of the palace. He said that the old and the young would all be safe, 
though he feared that our sister would not live long. Just now our sister Yuying fell dying beneath the flowers. When we went to her 
assistance, she regained her consciousness momentarily, crying, ‘Husband, walk slowly! Wait for me!’ We thought that her fall had 
knocked her senseless, as she was babbling like that. But when we questioned her carefully, she said exactly what Liu Quan now tells 

“If Her Royal Highness passed away momentarily, only to say these things after she regained consciousness,” said Wei Zheng, “this 
means that there is a real possibility that Liu Quan’s wife has returned to life by borrowing another person’s body. Let us invite the 
princess to come out, and see what she has to tell us.” 

“We just asked the court dispensary to send in some medicine,” said the Tang emperor, “for we don’t know what’s happening.” 
Some ladies of the court went to fetch the princess, and they found her inside, screaming, “Why do I need to take any medicine? How 
could this be my house? Ours is a clean, cool house of tiles, not like this one, yellow as if it had jaundice, and with such gaudy 
appointments! Let me out! Let me out!” She was still shouting when four or five ladies and two or three eunuchs took hold of her and 

led her outside to the court. 

The Tang emperor said, “Do you recognize your husband?” “What are you talking about?” said Yuying. “The two of us were 
pledged to each other since childhood as husband and wife. I bore him a boy and a girl. How could I not recognize him?” The Tang 
emperor asked one of the palatial officials to help her go down from the Treasure Hall. The princess went right before the steps of 
white jade, and when she saw Liu Quan, she grabbed him, saying, “Husband, where have you been? You didn’t even wait for me! I 
tripped and fell, and then I was surrounded by all these crazy people, talking nonsense! What do you have to say to this?” Liu Quan 
heard that she was speaking like his wife, but the person he saw certainly did not resemble her, and he dared not acknowledge her to be 
his own. The Tang emperor said, 


en have seen mountains cracking, or the gaping of earth; 
it none has seen the living exchanged for the dead!" 

What a just and kindly ruler! He took his sister’s toilet boxes, garments, and jewelry and bestowed them all on Liu Quan; it was as if 
the man was provided with a dowry. He was, moreover, exempted forever from having to engage in any compulsory service to the 
Crown, and was told to take the royal sister back to his home. So, husband and wife together expressed their gratitude before the steps 
and returned happily to their village. We have a testimonial poem: 

ow long, how short—man has his span of years; 

? lives and dies, each foreordained by fate, 
u Quan presented melons and returned to life; 
someone's body so did Li, his mate. 

The two of them took leave of the emperor, went directly back to Junzhou, and saw that both house and children were in good order. 
They never ceased thereafter to proclaim the rewards of virtue, but we shall speak of them no further. 

We now tell you about Yuchi Gong, who took a huge load of gold and silver and went to see Xiang Liang at the Kaifeng District in 
Henan. It turned out that the man made his living by selling water, while his wife, whose surname was Zhang, sold pottery in front of 
their home. Whatever money they made, they kept only enough for their subsistence, giving all the rest either as alms to the monks or 
as gifts to the dead by purchasing paper money and burning it. They thus built up enormous merit; for though they were poor folks in 
the World of Light, they were, in fact, leading citizens for whom jade and gold were laid up in the other world. When Yuchi Gong 
came to their door with the gold and silver, Papa Xiang and Mama Xiang were terror-stricken. And when they also saw the district 
officials with their horses and carriages assembling outside their thatched hut, the aged couple were dumbfounded. They knelt on the 
floor and kowtowed without ceasing. “Old folks, please arise,” said Yuchi Gong. “Though I am an imperial official, I came here with 
this gold and silver to repay you by order of my king.” Shaking and quaking, the man said, “Your lowly servant has never lent money 
to others. How dare we accept such inexplicable wealth?” 

“I have found out,” said Yuchi Gong, “that you are indeed a poor fellow. But you have also given alms to feed the monks. Whatever 
exceeds your necessities you have used to purchase paper money, which you burned in dedication to the Region of Darkness. You have 
thus accumulated a vast fortune down below. Our emperor, Taizong, returned to life after being dead for three days; he borrowed a 
roomful of gold and silver from you while he was in the Region of Darkness, and we are returning the exact sum to you. Please count 
your money accordingly so that we may make our report back to the emperor.” Xiang Liang and his wife, however, remained adamant. 
They raised their hands to Heaven and cried, “If your lowly servants accepted this gold and silver, we should die quickly. We might 
have been given credit for burning paper cash, but this is a secret unknown to us. Moreover, what evidence do we have that our Father, 
His Majesty, borrowed our money in some other world? We simply dare not accept this.” “His Majesty told us,” said Yuchi Gong, “that 
he received the loan from you because Judge Cui vouched for him, and he could bear testimony. So please accept this.” “Even if I were 
to die,” said Xiang Liang, “I could not accept the gift.” 

Seeing that they persisted in their refusal, Yuchi Gong had no alternative but to send someone back to report to the Throne. When 
Taizong saw the report and learned that Xiang Liang had refused to accept the gold and silver, he said, “They are truly virtuous elders!” 
He issued a decree at once that Hu Jingde should use the money to erect a temple, to build a shrine, and to support the religious 
services that would be performed in them. The old couple, in other words, would be repaid in this manner. The decree went out to 
Jingde, who, having expressed his gratitude, facing the capital, proclaimed its content for all to know. He used the money to purchase a 
lot of about fifty acres not needed either by the military authorities or the people. A temple was erected on this piece of land and named 
the Royal Xiangguo Temple. 1 To the left of it there was also a shrine dedicated to Papa and Mama Xiang, with a stone inscription 
stating that the buildings were erected under the supervision of Yuchi Gong. This is the Great Xiangguo Temple still standing today. 

The work was finished and reported; Taizong was exceedingly pleased. He then gathered many officials together in order that a 
public notice be issued to invite monks for the celebration of the Grand Mass of Land and Water, so that those orphaned souls in the 
Region of Darkness might find salvation. The notice went throughout the empire, and officials of all regions were asked to recommend 
monks illustrious for their holiness to go to Chang’an for the Mass. In less than a month’s time, various monks from the empire had 
arrived. The Tang emperor ordered the court historian, Fu Yi, to select an illustrious priest to take charge of the ceremonies. When Fu 
Yi received the order, however, he presented a memorial to the Throne that attempted to dispute the worth of Buddha." The memorial 

The teachings of the Western Territory deny the relations of ruler and subject, of father and son. With the doctrines of the Three Way , ' and the Sixfold Path? they beguile and seduce the foolish and the 
simpleminded. They emphasize the sins of the past in order to ensure the felicities of the future. By chanting in Sanskrit, they seek a way of escape. We submit, however, that birth, death, and the length 
of one’s life are ordered by nature; but the conditions of public disgrace or honor are determined by human volition. These phenomena are not, as some philistines would now maintain, ordained by 
Buddha. The teachings of Buddha did not exist in the time of the Five Thearchs and the Three Kings, and yet those rulers were wise, their subjects loyal, and their reigns long-lasting. It was not until the 
period of Emperor Ming in the Han dynasty that the worship of foreign gods was established,^ but this meant only that priests of the Western Territory were permitted to propagate their faith. The event, 
in fact, represented a foreign intrusion in China, and the teachings are hardly worthy to be believed. 

When Taizong saw the memorial, he had it distributed among the various officials for discussion. At that time the prime minister 
Xiao Yu came forward and prostrated himself to address the throne, saying, “The teachings of Buddha, which have flourished in 
several previous dynasties, seek to exalt the good and to restrain what is evil. In this way they are covertly an aid to the nation, and 

there is no reason why they should be rejected. For Buddha after all is also a sage, and he who spurns a sage is himself lawless. 1 urge 
that the dissenter be severely punished.” 

Taking up the debate with Xiao Yu, Fu Yi contended that propriety had its foundation in service to one’s parents and ruler. Yet 
Buddha forsook his parents and left his family; indeed, he defied the Son of Heaven all by himself, just as he used an inherited body to 
rebel against his parents. Xiao Yu, Fu Yi went on to say, was not bom in the wilds, but by his adherence to this doctrine of parental 
denial, he confirmed the saying that an unfilial son had in fact no parents. Xiao Yu, however, folded his hands in front of him and 
declared, “Hell was established precisely for people of this kind.” Taizong thereupon called on the Lord High Chamberlain, Zhang 
Daoyuan, and the President of the Grand Secretariat, Zhang Shiheng, and asked how efficacious the Buddhist exercises were in the 
procurement of blessings. The two officials replied, “The emphasis of Buddha is on purity, benevolence, compassion, the proper fruits, 
and the unreality of things. It was Emperor Wu of the Northern Zhou dynasty who set the Three Religions in order. 6 The Chan Master, 
Da Hui, also had extolled those concepts of the dark and the distant. Generations of people revered such saints as the Fifth Patriarch, 
who became man, 7 or the Bodhidharma, who appeared in his sacred form; none of them proved to be inconspicuous in grace and 
power. Moreover, it has been held since antiquity that the Three Religions are most honorable, not to be destroyed or abolished. We 
beseech, therefore, Your Majesty to exercise your clear and sagacious judgment.” Highly pleased, Taizong said, “The words of our 
worthy subjects are not unreasonable. Anyone who disputes them further will be punished.” He thereupon ordered Wei Zheng, Xiao 
Yu, and Zhang Daoyuan to invite the various Buddhist priests to prepare the site for the Grand Mass and to select from among them 
someone of great merit and virtue to serve as the altar master. All the officials then bowed their heads to the ground to thank the 
emperor before withdrawing. From that time also came the law that any person who denounces a monk or Buddhism will have his 
arms broken. 

The next day the three court officials began the process of selection at the Mountain-River Altar, and from among the priests 
gathered there they chose an illustrious monk of great merit. “Who is this person?” you ask. 

old Cicada was his former divine name, 
heedless he was of the Buddha’s talk, 
z had to suffer in this world of dust, 

• fall in the net by being born a man. 

z met misfortune as he came to Earth, 
id evildoers even before his birth. 

Is father: Chen, a zhuangyuan from Haizhou. 

Is mother’s sire: chief of this dynasty’s court, 
ited by his natal star to fall in the stream, 

2 followed tide and current, chased by mighty waves. 

Gold Mountain, the island, he had great luck, 
ir the abbot, Qian 'an, ^ raised him up. 
z met his true mother at age eighteen, 
id called on her father at the capital, 
great army was sent by Chief Kaishan 

• stamp out at Hongzhou the vivious crew. 

te zhuangyuan Guangrui escaped his doom: 

>n rejoined sire—how worthy of praise! 
ley saw the emperor to receive his grace; 
leir names resounded in Lingyan Tower. ^ 

2 clining office, he chose a monk s life 
Hongfu Temple to seek the true Way, 
tis old Buddha-child, nicknamed River Float, 
ith a religious name of Chen Xuanzang. 

So that very day the multitude selected the priest Xuanzang, a man who had been a monk since childhood, who maintained a 
vegetarian diet, and who had received the commandments the moment he left his mother’s womb. His maternal grandfather was Yin 
Kaishan, one of the chief army commanders of the present dynasty. His father, Chen Guangrui, had taken the prize of zhuangyuan and 
was appointed Grand Secretary of the Wenyuan Chamber. Xuanzang, however, had no love for glory or wealth, being dedicated wholly 
to the pursuit of Nirvana. Their investigations revealed that he had an excellent family background and the highest moral character. Not 
one of the thousands of classics and sutras had he failed to master; none of the Buddhist chants and hymns was unknown to him. The 
three officials led Xuanzang before the throne. After going through elaborate court ritual, they bowed to report, “Your subjects, in 
obedience to your holy decree, have selected an illustrious monk by the name of Chen Xuanzang.” 

Hearing the name, Taizong thought silently for a long time and said, “Can Xuanzang be the son of Grand Secretary Chen 
Guangrui?” Child River Float kowtowed and replied, “That is indeed your subject.” “This is a most appropriate choice,” said Taizong, 
delighted. “You are truly a monk of great virtue and possessing the mind of Chan. We therefore appoint you the Grand Expositor of the 
Faith, Supreme Vicar of Priests.” Xuanzang touched his forehead to the ground to express his gratitude and to receive his appointment. 
He was given, furthermore, a cassock of knitted gold and five colors, a Vairocana hat, 10 and the instruction diligently to seek out all 
worthy monks and to rank all these acaryas 11 in order. They were to follow the imperial decree and proceed to the Temple of 
Transformation, 12 where they would begin the ritual after selecting a propitious day and hour. 

Xuanzang bowed again to receive the decree and left. He went to the Temple of Transformation and gathered many monks together; 
they made ready the beds, built the platforms, and rehearsed the music. A total of one thousand two hundred worthy monks, young and 
old, were chosen, who were then further separated into three divisions occupying the rear, middle, and front portions of the hall. All the 
preparations were completed and everything was put in order before the Buddhas. The third day of the ninth month of that same year 
was selected as the lucky day, when a Grand Mass of Land and Water lasting forty-nine days (in accordance with the number seven 
times seven) would begin. A memorial was presented to Taizong, who went with all his relatives and officials, both civil and military, 
to the Mass on that day to bum incense and listen to the lecture. We have a poem as testimony. The poem says: 

hen the year-star of Zhenguan reached thirteen, 
te king called his people to hear the Sacred Books, 
te boundless Law was performed at a plot of truth; 

'oud, fog, and light filled the Great Promise Hall. 

> grace the king decreed this grand temple’s rite; 

’ell-shed Gold Cicada sought wealth of the West. 

2 spread wide the good works to save the damned 
id held his faith to preach the Three Modes ofLife. ^ ^ 

In the thirteenth year of the Zhenguan period, when the year stood at jisi and the ninth month at jiaxu, on the third day and at the 
auspicious hour of gueimao, Chen Xuanzang, the Great Expositor-Priest, gathered together one thousand two hundred illustrious 
monks. They met at the Temple of Transformation in the city of Chang’an to expound the various holy sutras. After holding court early 
that morning, the emperor led many officials both military and civil and left the Treasure Hall of Golden Chimes by phoenix carriages 
and dragon chariots. They came to the temple to listen to the lectures and raise incense. How does the imperial cortege appear? Truly it 
comes with 

sky full of blessed air, 

luntless shafts of hallowed light. 

le favorable wind blows gently; 

le omnific sun shines brightly. 

thousand lords with girdle-jade walk in front and rear. 

le many flags ofguardsmen stand both left and right. 

lose holding gilt bludgeons, 

id halberds and axes, 

arch in pairs and pairs; 

i e red silk lanterns, 

te royal incense urn, 

ove in solemnity. 

te dragons fly and the phoenixes dance; 
i e falcons soar and the eagles take wing, 
lis Son of Heaven's an upright sage; 
i e righteous ministers are good. 

ley increase our bliss by a thousand years, surpassing Yu and Shun; 
tey secure peace of ten thousand ages, rivaling Yao and Tang. 

2 also see the curve-handled umbrella, 

id robes with rolling dragons — 

i eir glare lighting up each other; 

te jade joined-rings, 

te phoenix fans, 

iving through holy mist. 

lose caps of pearls and belts of jade; 

te purple sashes and medals of gold. 

thousand rows of soldiers protect the Throne; 

vo lines of marshals uphold the carriage. 

lis emperor, cleansed and sincere, bows to the Buddha, 

'ad to raise incense and seek virtue’s fruit. 

The grand cortege of the Tang emperor soon arrived in front of the temple. The emperor ordered a halt to the music, left the 
carriages, and led many officials in the worship of Buddha by taking up burning incense sticks in their hands. After bowing three times 
holding the incense, they raised their heads and looked around them. This was indeed a splendid religious hall. You see 

incing flags and banners; 
ight, gleaming sunshades, 
incing flags and banners 
ll the air with strands of flashing colored mists. 

■ ight, gleaming sunshades 

'ow in the sun as fiery bolts. 

iposing, the gold image of Lokajyestha; ^ ^ 

ost awesome, the jade features of the arhats. 

•vine flowers fill the vases. 

mdalwood incense burn in the urns. 

te divine flowers filling the vases 

lorn the temple with a brilliant forest of brocade. 

ie sandalwood incense burning in the urns 

ivers the clear sky with waves of fragrant clouds. 

led high on red trays are fruits in season. 

'i colored counters, mounds of cakes and sweets rest. 

>ws of noble priests chant the holy sutras 
• save from their travails those orphaned souls. 

Taizong and his officials each lifted the incense; they also worshipped the golden body of the Buddha and paid homage to the arhats. 
Thereafter, the Master of the Law, Chen Xuanzang, the Grand Expositor of the Faith, led the various monks to greet the Tang emperor. 
After the ceremony, they went back to their seats according to their rank and station. The priest then presented Taizong with the 
proclamation for the deliverance of the orphaned souls. It read: 

The supreme virtue is vast and endless, for Buddhism is founded upon Nirvana. The spirit of the pure and the clean circulates freely and flows everywhere in the Three Regions. There are a thousand 
changes and ten thousand transformations, all regulated by the forces of yin and yang. Boundless and vast indeed are the substance, the function, the true nature, and the permanence of such phenomena. 
But look at those orphaned souls, how worthy they are of our pity and commiseration! Now by the holy command of Taizong, we have selected and assembled various priests, who will engage in 
meditation and in the proclamation of the Law. Flinging wide the gates of salvation and setting in motion many vessels of mercy, we would deliver you, the multitudes, from the Sea of Woe and save 
you from perdition and from the Sixfold Path. You will be led to return to the way of truth and to enjoy the bliss of Heaven. Whether it be by motion, rest, or nonactivity, you will be united with, and 
become, pure essences. Therefore make use of this noble occasion, for you are invited to the pleasures of the celestial city. Take advantage of our Grand Mass so that you may find release from Hell’s 
confinement, ascend quickly and freely to ultimate bliss, and travel without restraint in the Region of the West. ^ ^ 

The poem says: 

i urn of immortal incense. 
i me scrolls of salvific power. 

: we proclaim this boundless Law, 
iceive now Heaven’s endless grace. 

I your guilt and crime abolished, 

•u lost souls may leave your prison, 
ay our nation be firmly blessed 
ith peace long and all-embracing. 

Highly pleased by what he read, Taizong said to the monks, “Be firm, all of you, in your devotion, and do not slack in your service 
to Buddha. After the achievement of merit and after each has received his blessing, we shall reward you handsomely. Be assured that 

you will not have labored in vain.” The twelve hundred monks all touched their foreheads to the ground to express their gratitude. 
After the three vegetarian meals of the day, the Tang emperor returned to the palace to wait for the fonnal celebration of the mass 
seven days hence, when he would again be invited to raise incense. As dusk was about to fall, the various officials all retired. What sort 
of evening was this? Look at 

ie long stretch of clear sky as twilight dims, 

: specks of jackdaw drop to their perch late, 
lople grow quiet, the city full of lights: 
m's the time for Chan monks to meditate. 

We have told you about the scenery of the night. The next morning the Master of the Law again ascended his seat and gathered the 
monks to recite their sutras, but we shall say no more about that. 

We shall now tell you about the Bodhisattva Guanyin of the Potalaka Mountain in the South Sea, who, since receiving the command 
of Tathagata, was searching in the city of Chang’an for a worthy person to be the seeker of scriptures. For a long time, however, she 
did not encounter anyone truly virtuous. Then she learned that Taizong was extolling merit and virtue and selecting illustrious monks 
to hold the Grand Mass. When she discovered, moreover, that the chief priest and celebrant was the monk Child River Float, who was 
a child of Buddha bom from paradise and who happened also to be the very elder whom she had sent to this incarnation, the 
Bodhisattva was exceedingly pleased. She immediately took the treasures bestowed by Buddha and carried them out with Moksa to 
sell them on the main streets of the city. “What were these treasures?” you ask. They were the embroidered cassock with rare jewels 
and the nine-ring priestly staff. But she kept hidden the Golden, the Constrictive, and the Prohibitive Fillets for use in a later time, 
putting up for sale only the cassock and the priestly staff. 

Now in the city of Chang’an there was one of those foolish monks who had not been selected to participate in the Grand Mass but 
who happened to possess a few strands of pelf. Seeing the Bodhisattva, who had changed herself into a monk covered with scabs and 
sores, barefooted and bareheaded, dressed in rags, and holding up for sale the glowing cassock, he approached and asked, “You fdthy 
monk, how much do you want for your cassock?” “The price of the cassock,” said the Bodhisattva, “is five thousand taels of silver; for 
the staff, two thousand.” The foolish monk laughed and said, “This filthy monk is mad! A lunatic! You want seven thousand taels of 
silver for two such common articles? They are not worth that much even if wearing them would make you immortal or turn you into a 
buddha. Take them away! You’ll never be able to sell them!” The Bodhisattva did not bother to argue with him; she walked away and 
proceeded on her journey with Moksa. 

After a long while, they came to the Eastern Flower Gate and ran right into the chief minister Xiao Yu, who was just returning from 
court. FLis outriders were shouting to clear the streets, but the Bodhisattva boldly refused to step aside. She stood on the street holding 
the cassock and met the chief minister head on. The chief minister pulled in his reins to look at this bright, luminous cassock, and 
asked his subordinates to inquire about the price of the garment. “I want five thousand taels for the cassock,” said the Bodhisattva, 
“and two thousand for the staff.” “What is so good about them,” asked Xiao Yu, “that they should be so expensive?” “This cassock,” 
said the Bodhisattva, “has something good about it, and something bad, too. For some people it may be very expensive, but for others 
it may cost nothing at all.” 

“What’s good about it,” asked Xiao Yu, “and what’s bad about it?” 

“He who wears my cassock,” replied the Bodhisattva, “will not fall into perdition, will not suffer in Hell, will not encounter 
violence, and will not meet tigers and wolves. That’s how good it is! But if the person happens to be a foolish monk who relishes 
pleasures and rejoices in iniquities, or a priest who obeys neither the dietary laws nor the commandments, or a worldly fellow who 
attacks the sutras and slanders the Buddha, he will never even get to see my cassock. That’s what’s bad about it!” The chief minister 
asked again, “What do you mean, it will be expensive for some and not expensive for others?” “He who does not follow the Law of 
Buddha,” said the Bodhisattva, “or revere the Three Jewels will be required to pay seven thousand taels if he insists on buying my 
cassock and my staff. That’s how expensive it’ll be! But if he honors the Three Jewels, rejoices in doing good deeds, and obeys our 
Buddha, he is a person worthy of these things. I shall willingly give him the cassock and the staff to establish an affinity of goodness 
with him. That’s what I meant when I said that for some it would cost nothing.” 

When Xiao Yu heard these words, his face could not hide his pleasure, for he knew that this was a good person. He dismounted at 
once and greeted the Bodhisattva ceremoniously, saying, “Your Holy Eminence, please pardon whatever offense Xiao Yu might have 
caused. Our Great Tang Emperor is a most religious person, and all the officials of his court are like-minded. In fact, we have just 
begun a Grand Mass of Land and Water, and this cassock will be most appropriate for the use of Chen Xuanzang, the Grand Expositor 
of the Faith. Let me go with you to have an audience with the Throne.” 

The Bodhisattva was happy to comply with the suggestion. They turned around and went into the Eastern Flower Gate. The 
Custodian of the Yellow Door went inside to make the report, and they were summoned to the Treasure Hall, where Xiao Yu and the 
two monks covered with scabs and sores stood below the steps. “What does Xiao Yu want to report to us?” asked the Tang emperor. 
Prostrating himself before the steps, Xiao Yu said, “Your subject going out of the Eastern Flower Gate met by chance these two monks, 
selling a cassock and a priestly staff. I thought of the priest, Xuanzang, who might wear this garment. For this reason, we asked to have 
an audience with Your Majesty.” 

Highly pleased, Taizong asked for the price of the cassock. The Bodhisattva and Moksa stood at the foot of the steps but did not bow 
at all. When asked the price of the cassock, the Bodhisattva replied, “Five thousand taels for the cassock and two thousand for the 
priestly staff.” “What’s so good about the cassock,” said Taizong, “that it should cost so much?” The Bodhisattva said: 

If this cassock, 

dragon which wears but one shred 

ill miss the woe of being devoured by the great roc; 

r a crane on which one thread is hung 

ill transcend this world and reach the place of the gods. 

t in it: 

n thousand gods will salute you! 
ove with it: 

■ven Buddhas will follow you!^^ 

lis cassock was made of silk drawn from ice silkworm ' ^ 

id threads spun by skilled craftsmen. 

mortal girls did the weaving; 

i vine maidens helped at the loom. 

t by bit, the parts were sewn and embroidered. 

itch by stitch, it arose—a brocade from the heddle, 

: pellucid weave finer than ornate blooms. 

• colors, brilliant, emit precious light. 

ear it, and crimson mist will surround your frame. 

off it, and see the colored clouds take flight. 

utside the Three Heavens 'door its primal light was seen; 

ifore the Five Mountains its magic aura grew. 

laid are layers of lotus from the West, 

id hanging pearls shine like planets and stars. 

n four corners are pearls that glow at night; 

n top stays fastened an emerald. 

tough lacking the all-seeing primal form, 

's held by Eight Treasures all aglow, 
lis cassock 

•u keep folded at leisure; 

•u wear it to meet sages, 
hen it s kept folded at leisure, 

: rainbowlike hues cut through a thousand wrappings, 
hen you wear it to meet sages, 

1 Heaven takes fright—both demons and gods! 

n top are the rddhi pearl, 

te mani pearl, 

le dust-clearing pearl, 

te wind-stopping pearl. 

lere are also the red cornelian, 

i e purple coral, 

i e luminescent pearl ,' ^ 

te Sarlputra. 

tey rob the moon of its whiteness; 
xey match the sun in its redness, 
waves its divine aura imbues the sky; 
flashes its brightness lifts up its perfection, 
waves its divine aura imbues the sky, 
boding the Gate of Heaven, 
flashes its brightness lifts up its perfection, 
ghting up the whole world. 

\ining upon the mountains and the streams, 

wakens tigers and leopards; 

ghting up the isles and the seas, 

moves dragons and fishes. 

ong its edges hang two chains of melted gold, 

id joins the collars a ring of snow-white jade. 

The poem says: 

ie august Three Jewels 'most noble truths 
dge all Four Creatures on the Sixfold Path, 
ie mind brightened feeds on God s Law and man "s; 
ie nature perceived transmits the wisdom lamp. 

•lemn Vajradhalu * ^ guards one’s body 
hen a mind’s pure like ice in flasks of jade, 
nee Buddha caused this cassock to be made, 
hich ten thousand kalpas could harm a monk? ” 

When the Tang emperor, who was up in the Treasure Hall, heard these words, he was highly pleased. “Tell me, priest,” he asked again, 
“What’s so good about the nine-ring priestly staff?” “My staff,” said the Bodhisattva, “has on it 

ne joined-rings made of iron and set in bronze, 
id nine joints of vine immortal ever young, 
hen held, it scorns the sight of aging bones; 
leaves the mount to return with fleecy clouds, 
roamed through Heaven with the Fifth Patriarch; 
broke Hells gate where Luo Bo sought his Mom 
it soiled by the filth of this red-dust world, 
gladly trails the god-monk up Mount Jade. ' 

When the Tang emperor heard these words, he gave the order to have the cassock spread open so that he might examine it carefully 
from top to bottom. It was indeed a marvelous thing! “Venerable Elder of the Great Law,” he said, “we shall not deceive you. At this 
very moment we have exalted the Religion of Mercy and planted abundantly in the fields of blessing. You may see many priests 
assembled in the Temple of Transformation to perform the Law and the sutras. In their midst is a man of great merit and virtue, whose 
religious name is Xuanzang. We wish, therefore, to purchase these two treasure objects from you to give them to him. How much do 
you really want for these things?” Hearing these words, the Bodhisattva and Moksa folded their hands and gave praise to the Buddha. 
“If he is a man of virtue and merit,” she said to the Throne, bowing, “this humble cleric is willing to give them to him. I shall not 
accept any money.” She finished speaking and turned at once to leave. The Tang emperor quickly asked Xiao Yu to hold her back. 
Standing up in the Hall, he bowed low before saying, “Previously you claimed that the cassock was worth five thousand taels of silver, 
and the staff two thousand. Now that you see we want to buy them, you refuse to accept payment. Are you implying that we would 
bank on our position and take your possession by force? That’s absurd! We shall pay you according to the original sum you asked for; 
please do not refuse it.” 

Raising her hands for a salutation, the Bodhisattva said, “This humble cleric made a vow before, stating that anyone who reveres the 
Three Treasures, rejoices in virtue, and submits to our Buddha will be given these treasures free. Since it is clear that Your Majesty is 
eager to magnify virtue, to rest in excellence, and to honor our Buddhist faith by having an illustrious monk proclaim the Great Law, it 
is my duty to present these gifts to you. I shall take no money for them. They will be left here and this humble cleric will take leave of 

you.” When the Tang emperor saw that she was so insistent, he was very pleased. He ordered the Court of Banquets to prepare a huge 
vegetarian feast to thank the Bodhisattva, who firmly declined that also. She left amiably and went back to her hiding place at the 
Temple of the Local Spirit, which we shall mention no further. 

We tell you now about Taizong, who held a noon court and asked Wei Zheng to summon Xuanzang to an audience. That Master of 
the Law was just leading the monks in chanting sutras and reciting geyas. 22 When he heard the emperor’s decree, he left the platform 
immediately and followed Wei Zheng to come before the Throne. “We have greatly troubled our Master,” said Taizong, “to render 
exemplary good works, for which we have hardly anything to offer you in thanks. This morning Xiao Yu came upon two monks who 
were willing to present us with a brocaded cassock with rare treasures and a nine-ring priestly staff. We therefore call specially for you 
so that you may receive them for your enjoyment and use.” Xuanzang kowtowed to express his thanks. 

“If our Master of the Law is willing,” said Taizong, “please put the garment on for us to have a look.” The priest accordingly shook 
open the cassock and draped it on his body, holding the staff in his hands. As he stood before the steps, ruler and subjects were all 
delighted. Here was a true child of Tathagata! Look at him: 

is looks imposing, how elegant and fine! 
lis robe of Buddha fits him like a glove! 

: most lustrous splendor spills o ’er the world; 

: bright colors imbue the universe. 

■y and down are set rows of shining pearls; 
ick and front thread layers of golden cords. 

•ocade gilds the robe’s edges all around, 
ith patterns embroidered most varied and rare. 

\aped like Eight Treasures are the thread-made frogs, 
gold ring joins the collars with velvet loops, 
shows on top and bottom Heaven’s ranks, 
id stars, great and small, are placed left and right. 

'•eat is the fortune ofXuanzang, the priest, 
yw most deserving of this precious thing, 
z seems a living arhat from the West, 

*■ even better than its true elite, 
z holds his staff and all its nine rings clang, 
mefic in his Vairocana hat. 
true Buddha-child, it’s no idle tale, 
z matches the Bodhi and that's no lie! 

The various officials, both civil and military, stood before the steps and shouted “Bravo!” Taizong could not have been more 
pleased, and he told the Master of the Law to keep his cassock on and the staff in his hands. Two regiments of honor guards were 
ordered to accompany him along with many other officials. They left the gate of the court and proceeded on the main streets toward the 
temple, and the whole entourage gave the impression that a zhuangyuan was making a tour of the city. The procession was a stirring 
sight indeed! The merchants and tradesmen in the city of Chang’an, the princes and noblemen, the men of ink and letters, the grown 
men and the little girls—they all vied to get a good view. Everyone exclaimed, “What a priest! He is truly a living arhat descended to 
Earth, a live bodhisattva coming to the world!” Xuanzang went right to the temple where he was met by all the monks leaving their 
seats. The moment they saw him wearing that cassock and holding the staff, they all said that King Ksitigarbha 2 ’ had arrived! Everyone 
bowed to him and waited on him left and right. Going up to the main hall, Xuanzang lighted incense to honor the Buddha, after which 
he spoke of the emperor’s favor to the multitude. Thereafter, each went back to his assigned seat, and soon the fiery orb sank westward. 
So it was 

inset: mist hid trees and grasses; 

te capital’s first chimes rang out. 

leng-zheng they struck thrice, and human traffic ceased; 

reets back and front soon grew quiet. 

lough lights burned bright at First Temple, 
i e lone village was hush and mute, 
te monk focused to tend the sutras still — 
me to smelt demons, to nurse his spirit 

Time went by like the snapping of fingers, and the fomial celebration of the Grand Mass on the seventh day was to take place. 
Xuanzang presented the Tang emperor with a memorial, inviting him to raise the incense. News of these good works was circulating 
throughout the empire. Upon receiving the notice, Taizong sent for his carriage and led many of his officials, both civil and military, as 
well as his relatives and the ladies of the court, to the temple. All the people of the city—young and old, nobles and commoners—went 
along also to hear the preaching. At the same time, the Bodhisattva said to Moksa, “Today is the formal celebration of the Grand Mass, 
the first seventh of seven such occasions. It’s about time for you and me to join the crowd. First, we want to see how the mass is going; 
second, we want to find out whether Gold Cicada is worthy of my treasures; and third, we can discover what division of Buddhism he 
is preaching about.” The two of them thereupon went to the temple; and so it is that 

finity will help old comrades meet 
: perfection returns to this holy seat. 

As they walked inside the temple to look around, they discovered that such a place in the capital of a great nation indeed surpassed the 
Sad-varsa, 2 ’ or even the Jetavana Garden of the Sravastl. 26 It was truly a lofty temple of Caturdisgah, 27 resounding with divine music 
and Buddhist chants. Our Bodhisattva went directly to the side of the platform of many treasures and beheld a form truly resembling 
the enlightened Gold Cicada. The poem says: 

/ things were pure with not a spot of dust, 
lanzang of the Great Law sat high onstage. 

>st souls, redeemed, approached the place unseen; 
te city s highborn came to hear the Law. 

•u give when time’s ripe: this intent "s far-reaching. 

•u die as you please, the Canon door’s open. 

: they heard him rehearse the Boundless Law, 

'ting and old were glad and comforted. 

Another poem says: 

nee she made a tour of this holy site, 

\e met a friend unlike all other men. 

tey spoke of the present and of countless things — 

r merit and trial in this world of dust. 

te cloud of Law extends to shroud the hills; 

te net of Truth spread wide to fill all space. 

•■ses your lives and return to good thoughts, 

)r Heaven’s grace is rife as falling blooms. 

On the platform, that Master of the Law recited for a while the Sutra of Life and Deliverance for the Dead', he then lectured for a while 
on the Heavenly Treasure Chronicle for Peace in the Nation, after which he preached for a while on the Scroll on Merit and Self- 
Cultivation ., 28 

The Bodhisattva drew near and thumped her hands on the platform, calling out in a loud voice, “Hey, monk! You only know how to 
talk about the teachings of the Little Vehicle. Don’t you know anything about the Great Vehicle?” When Xuanzang heard this question, 
he was filled with delight. He turned and leaped down from the platform, raised his hands and saluted the Bodhisattva, saying, 
“Venerable Teacher, please pardon your pupil for much disrespect. I only know that the priests who came before me all talk about the 
teachings of the Little Vehicle. I have no idea what the Great Vehicle teaches.” “The doctrines of your Little Vehicle,” said the 
Bodhisattva, “cannot save the damned by leading them up to Heaven; they can only mislead and confuse mortals. I have in my 
possession Tripitaka, three collections of the Great Vehicle Laws of Buddha, which are able to send the lost to Heaven, to deliver the 
afflicted front their sufferings, to fashion ageless bodies, and to break the cycles of coming and going.” 

As they were speaking, the officer in charge of incense and the inspection of halls reported to the emperor, “The Master was just in 
the process of lecturing on the wondrous Law when he was pulled down by two scabby mendicants, babbling some kind of nonsense.” 
The king ordered them to be arrested, and the two monks were taken by many people and pushed into the hall in the rear. When the 
monk saw Taizong, she neither raised her hands nor made a bow; instead, she lifted her face and said, “What do you want of me, Your 
Majesty?” Recognizing her, the Tang emperor said, “Aren’t you the monk who brought us the cassock the other day?” “I am,” said the 
Bodhisattva. “If you have come to listen to the lecture,” said Taizong, “you may as well take some vegetarian food. Why indulge in 
this wanton discussion with our Master and disturb the lecture hall, delaying our religious service?” 

“What that Master of yours was lecturing on,” said the Bodhisattva, “happens to be the teachings of the Little Vehicle, which cannot 
lead the lost up to Heaven. In my possession is the Tripitaka, the Great Vehicle Law of Buddha, which is able to save the damned, 
deliver the afflicted, and fashion the indestructible body.” Delighted, Taizong asked eagerly, “Where is your Great Vehicle Law of 
Buddha?” “At the place of our lord, Tathagata,” said the Bodhisattva, “in the Great Temple of Thunderclap, located in India of the 
Great Western Heaven. It can untie the knot of a hundred enmities; it can dispel unexpected misfortunes.” “Can you remember any of 
it?” said Taizong. “Certainly,” said the Bodhisattva. Taizong was overjoyed and said, “Let the Master lead this monk to the platform to 
begin a lecture at once.” 

Our Bodhisattva led Moksa and flew up onto the high platform. She then trod on the hallowed clouds to rise up into the air and 
revealed her true salvific form, holding the pure vase with the willow branch. At her left stood the virile figure of Moksa carrying the 
rod. The Tang emperor was so overcome that he bowed to the sky and worshipped, as civil and military officials all knelt on the 
ground and burned incense. Throughout the temple, there was not one of the monks, nuns, Daoists, secular persons, scholars, 
craftsmen, and merchants, who did not bow down and exclaim, “Dear Bodhisattva! Dear Bodhisattva!” We have a song as a testimony. 
They saw only 

ispicious mist in diffusion 

id dharmakaya^ veiled by holy light. 

the bright air of ninefold Heaven 

lady immortal appeared. 

tat Bodhisattva 

ore on her head a cap 

istened by leaves of gold 

id set with flowers of jade, 

ith tassels of dangling pearls, 

l aglow with golden light. 

n her body she had 

robe of fine blue silk, 

ghtly colored 

id simply fretted 

> circling dragons 

id soaring phoenixes. 

own in front was hung 

pair of fragrant girdle-jade, 

hich glowed with the moon 

id danced with the wind, 

verlaid with precious pearls 

id with imperial jade. 

round her waist was tied 

i embroidered velvet skirt 

r ice worm silk 

id piped in gold, 

which she topped the colored clouds 
id crossed the jasper sea. 
fore her she led 

cockatoo with red beak and yellow plumes, 
hich had roamed the Eastern Ocean 
id throughout the world 
• foster deeds of mercy and filial piety. 

\e held in her hands 

grace-dispensing and world-sustaining precious vase, 
which was planted 
twig of pliant willow, 

tat could moisten the blue sky, 
id sweep aside all evil — 

/ clinging fog and smoke. 

zr jade rings joined embroidered loops; 

old lotus grew beneath her feet. 

)r three days oft she came and went: 

lis very Guanshiyin ^ who saves from pain and woe. 

So pleased by the vision was Tang Taizong that he forgot about his empire; so enthralled were the civil and military officials that they 
completely ignored court etiquette. Everyone was chanting, “Namo Bodhisattva Guanshiyin!” 31 

Taizong at once gave the order for a skilled painter to sketch the true form of the Bodhisattva. No sooner had he spoken than a 
certain Wu Daozi was selected, who could portray gods and sages and was a master of the noble perspective and lofty vision. (This 
man, in fact, was the one who would later paint the portraits of meritorious officials in the Lingyan Tower.) Immediately he opened up 
his magnificent brush to record the true fonn. The hallowed clouds of the Bodhisattva gradually drifted away, and in a little while the 
golden light disappeared. From midair came floating down a slip of paper on which were plainly written several lines in the style of the 

2 greet the great Ruler of Tang 

ith scripts most sublime of the West. 

le way: a hundred and eight thousand miles. 

tis Mahayana seek earnestly. 

tese Books, when they reach your fair state, 

in redeem damned spirits from Hell. 

someone is willing to go, 

2 ’ll become a Buddha of gold. 

When Taizong saw the gdthd, he said to the various monks: “Let’s stop the Mass. Wait until I have sent someone to bring back the 
scriptures of the Great Vehicle. We shall then renew our sincere effort to cultivate the fruits of virtue.” Not one of the officials 
disagreed with the emperor, who then asked in the temple, “Who is willing to accept our commission to seek scriptures from Buddha in 
the Western Heaven?” Hardly had he finished speaking when the Master of the Law stepped from the side and saluted him, saying, 
“Though your poor monk has no talents, he is ready to perform the service of a dog and a horse. I shall seek these true scriptures on 
behalf of Your Majesty, that the empire of our king may be firm and everlasting.” Highly pleased, the Tang emperor went forward to 
raise up the monk with his royal hands, saying, “If the Master is willing to express his loyalty this way, undaunted by the great distance 
or by the journey over mountains and streams, we are willing to become bond brothers with you.” Xuanzang touched his forehead to 
the ground to express his gratitude. Being indeed a righteous man, the Tang emperor went at once before Buddha’s image in the temple 
and bowed to Xuanzang four times, addressing him as “our brother and holy monk.” 

Deeply moved, Xuanzang said, “Your Majesty, what ability and what virtue does your poor monk possess that he should merit such 
affection from your Heavenly Grace? I shall not spare myself in this journey, but I shall proceed with all diligence until I reach the 
Western Heaven. If I do not attain my goal, or the true scriptures, I shall not return to our land even if I have to die. I would rather fall 
into eternal perdition in Hell.” He thereupon lifted the incense before Buddha and made that his vow. Highly pleased, the Tang 
emperor ordered his carriage back to the palace to wait for the auspicious day and hour, when official documents could be issued for 
the journey to begin. And so the Throne withdrew as everyone dispersed. 

Xuanzang also went back to the Temple of Great Blessing. The many monks of that temple and his several disciples, who had heard 
about the quest for the scriptures, all came to see him. They asked, “Is it true that you have vowed to go to the Western Heaven?” “It 
is,” said Xuanzang. “O Master,” one of his disciples said, “I have heard people say that the way to the Western Heaven is long, filled 
with tigers, leopards, and all kinds of monsters. I fear that there will be departure but no return for you, as it will be difficult to 
safeguard your life.” 

“I have already made a great vow and a profound promise,” said Xuanzang, “that if I do not acquire the true scriptures, I shall fall 
into eternal perdition in Hell. Since I have received such grace and favor from the king, I have no alternative but to serve my country to 
the utmost of my loyalty. It is true, of course, that I have no knowledge of how I shall fare on this journey or whether good or evil 
awaits me.” He said to them again, “My disciples, after I leave, wait for two or three years, or six or seven years. If you see the 
branches of the pine trees within our gate pointing eastward, you will know that I am about to return. If not, I shall not be coming 
back.” The disciples all committed his words firmly to memory. 

The next morning Taizong held court and gathered all the officials together. They wrote up the formal rescript stating the intent to 
acquire scriptures and stamped it with the seal of free passage. The President of the Imperial Board of Astronomy then came with the 
report, “Today the positions of the planets are especially favorable for men to make a journey of great length.” The Tang emperor was 
most delighted. Thereafter the Custodian of the Yellow Gate also made a report, saying, “The Master of the Law awaits your pleasure 
outside the court.” The emperor summoned him up to the treasure hall and said, “Royal Brother, today is an auspicious day for the 
journey, and your rescript for free passage is ready. We also present you with a bowl made of purple gold for you to collect alms on 
your way. Two attendants have been selected to accompany you, and a horse will be your means of travel. You may begin your journey 
at once.” 

Highly pleased, Xuanzang expressed his gratitude and received his gifts, not displaying the least desire to linger. The Tang emperor 
called for his carriage and led many officials outside the city gate to see him off. The monks in the Temple of Great Blessing and the 
disciples were already waiting there with Xuanzang’s winter and summer clothing. When the emperor saw them, he ordered the bags to 
be packed on the horses first, and then asked an officer to bring a pitcher of wine. Taizong lifted his cup to toast the pilgrim, saying, 
“What is the byname of our Royal Brother?” “Your poor monk,” said Xuanzang, “is a person who has left the family. He dares not 
assume a byname.” “The Bodhisattva said earlier,” said Taizong, “that there were three collections of scriptures in the Western Heaven. 
Our Brother can take that as a byname and call himself Tripitaka. How about it?” Thanking him, Xuanzang accepted the wine and said, 
“Your Majesty, wine is the first prohibition of priesthood. Your poor monk has practiced abstinence since birth.” “Today’s journey,” 
said Taizong, “is not to be compared with any ordinary event. Please drink one cup of this dietary wine, and accept our good wishes 

that go along with the toast.” Xuanzang dared not refuse; he took the wine and was about to drink, when he saw Taizong stoop down to 
scoop up a handful of dirt with his fingers and sprinkle it in the wine. Tripitaka had no idea what this gesture meant. 

“Dear Brother,” said Taizong, laughing, “how long will it take you to come back from this trip to the Western Heaven?” “Probably 
in three years time,” said Tripitaka, “I’ll be returning to our noble nation.” “The years are long and the journey is great,” said Taizong. 
“Drink this, Royal Brother, and remember: 

easure a handful of dirt from your home, 
it love not ten thousand taels of foreign gold. ” 

Then Tripitaka understood the meaning of the handful of dirt sprinkled in his cup; he thanked the emperor once more and drained the 
cup. He went out of the gate and left, as the Tang emperor returned in his carriage. 


In the den of tigers, the Gold Star brings deliverance; 

At Double-Fork Ridge, Boqin detains the monk. 

ie rich Tang ruler issued a decree, 
zputing Xuanzang to seek the source of Chan, 
z bent his mind to find the Dragon Den, 
ith firm resolve to climb the Vulture Peak. * 
trough how many states did he roam beyond his own? 
trough clouds and hills he passed ten thousand times, 
z now leaves the throne to go to the West; 
z ’ll keep law and faith to reach the Great Void. 

We shall now tell you about Tripitaka, who, on the third day before the fifteenth of the ninth month in the thirteenth year of the 
period Zhenguan, was sent off by the Tang emperor and many officials from outside the gate of Chang’an. For a couple of days his 
horse trotted without ceasing, and soon they reached the Temple of the Law Gate. The abbot of that temple led some five hundred 
monks on both sides to receive him and took him inside. As they met, tea was served, after which a vegetarian meal was presented. 
Soon after the meal, dusk fell, and thus 

i adows moved to the Star River’s nearing pulse; 
te moon was bright without a speck of dust, 
te wild geese called from the distant sky, 
id washing flails beat from nearby homes. 

: birds returned to perch on withered trees, 
le Chan monks conversed in their Sanskrit tones, 
n rush mats placed upon a single bunk, 
tey sat until halfway through the night. 

Beneath the lamps the various monks discussed Buddhist doctrines and the purpose of seeking scriptures in the Western Heaven. 
Some pointed out that the waters were wide and the mountains very high; others mentioned that the roads were crowded with tigers 
and leopards; still others maintained that the precipitous peaks were difficult to scale; and another group insisted that the vicious 
monsters were hard to subdue. Tripitaka, however, kept his mouth shut tightly, but he pointed with his finger to his own heart and 
nodded his head several times. Not perceiving what he meant, the various monks folded their hands and asked, “Why did the Master of 
the Law point to his heart and nod his head?” 

“When the mind is active,” Tripitaka replied, “all kinds of mdra come into existence; when the mind is extinguished, all kinds of 
mara will be extinguished. This disciple has already made an important vow before Buddha in the Temple of Transformation, and he 
has no alternative but to fulfill it with his whole heart. If I go, I shall not turn aside until I have reached the Western Heaven, seen 
Buddha, and acquired the scriptures so that the Wheel of the Law will be turned to us : and the kingdom of our lord will be secured 
forever.” When the various monks heard this statement, everyone congratulated and commended him, saying, “A loyal and valiant 
master!” They praised him unceasingly as they escorted him to bed. 


ie bamboos struck down the setting moor? 
id the cocks crowed to gather the clouds of dawn. 

The various monks arose and prepared some tea and the morning meal. Xuanzang put on his cassock and went to worship Buddha in 
the main hall. “Your disciple, Chen Xuanzang,” he said, “is on his way to seek scriptures in the Western Heaven. But my fleshly eyes 
are dim and unperceptive and do not recognize the true form of the living Buddha. Now I wish to make a vow: that throughout this 
journey I shall bum incense whenever I come upon a temple, I shall worship Buddha whenever I meet a Buddha, and I shall sweep a 
pagoda whenever I reach a pagoda. May our Buddha be merciful and soon reveal to me his Diamond Body sixteen feet tall. May he 
grant me the true scriptures so that they may be preserved in the Land of the East.” 

He finished his prayer and went back to the hall for the vegetarian meal, after which his two attendants made ready the saddle and 
urged him to begin his journey. Going out of the temple’s gate, Tripitaka took leave of the monks, who grieved to see him go. They 
accompanied him for ten miles before turning back, tears in their eyes, as Tripitaka proceeded directly toward the West. It was the time 
of late autumn. You see 

ees growing bare in hamlets as rush petals break; 

■om every maple column the red leaves fall. 

ekkers through paths of mist and rain are few. 

ie fair chrysanthemums, 

i e sharp mountain rocks, 

fid streams and cracked lilies all make one sad. 

tow falls from a frosty sky on rushes and reeds. 

'ie duck at dusk descends in the distant void. 

'ouds o ’er the wilds move through the gathering gloom, 
ie swallows depart; 
i e wild geese appear — 

leir cries, though loud, are halting and forlorn ^ 

After traveling for several days, master and disciples arrived at the city of Gongzhou. They were met at once by the various 
municipal officials of that city, where they spent the night. The next morning they set off again, taking food and drink along the way, 
resting by night and journeying by day. In two or three days, they arrived at the District of Hezhou, which formed the border of the 
Great Tang Empire. When the garrison commander of the border as well as the local monks and priests heard that the Master of the 
Law, a bond brother of the emperor, was on his way to the Western Heaven to see Buddha by royal commission, they received the 

travelers with due reverence. Some chief priests then invited them to spend the night at Fuyuan Temple, where every resident cleric 
came to pay respect to the pilgrims. Dinner was served, after which the two attendants were told to feed the horses well, for the Master 
wanted to leave before dawn. At the first crowing of the cock, he called for his attendants and aroused the monks of that temple. They 
hastened to prepare tea and breakfast, after which the pilgrims departed from the border. 

Because he was somewhat impatient to get going, the Master arose a trifle too early. The fact is that this was late autumn, when 
cocks crow rather early—at about the time of the fourth watch. Facing the clear frost and the bright moon, the three of them (the horse 
made up the fourth member of the team) journeyed for some twenty or thirty miles, when they came upon a mountain range. It soon 
became exceedingly difficult for them to find their way. As they had to poke around in the grass to look for a path, they began to worry 
that they might be heading in the wrong direction. In that very anxious moment, they suddenly tripped; all three of them as well as the 
horse tumbled into a deep pit. Tripitaka was terrified; his companions all shook with fear. They were still trembling when they heard 
voices shouting, “Seize them! Seize them!” A violent wind swept by, and a mob of fifty or sixty ogres appeared, who seized Tripitaka 
with his companions and hauled them out of the pit. Quivering and shivering, the Master of the Law stole a glance around and saw a 
ferocious Monster King seated up on high. Truly he had 

figure most awesomely bold, 
face most distinctly fierce, 
ght flashed from his lightninglike eyes; 
l quaked at his thunderous voice. 

Is sawlike teeth jutted outward, 
ke fangs they emerged from his jaws. 

■ocade wrapped his body around, 
id coiling stripes covered his spine, 
ley saw flesh through sparse, steely whiskers, 
zen-edged were his claws like sharp swords. 

>en Huang Gong ofEast Sea would fear 1 
lis white-browed King of Mount South. 

Tripitaka was so frightened that his spirit left him, while the bones of his followers grew weak and their tendons turned numb. 

The Monster King shouted for them to be bound, and the various ogres tied up all three of them with ropes. They were being 
prepared to be eaten when a clamor was heard outside the camp. Someone came in to report: “The Bear Mountain Lord and the Steer 
Hermit have arrived.” Hearing this, Tripitaka looked up. The first one to come in was a swarthy fellow. “How did he look?” you ask. 

? seemed valiant and courageous, 
ith body both tough and brawny. 

Is great strength could ford the waters. 

? prowled the woods, flaunting his power. 

>er a good omen in dreams 
? showed now his forceful features. 

? could break or climb the green trees, 
id predicted when winter was near, 
uly he was most clever, 
znce Mountain Lord was his name. 

Following behind hint was another husky fellow. “How did he look?” you ask. 

cap of twin horns rugged, 
id a humpback most majestic. 

Is green robe showed his calm nature, 

? walked with a slumberous gait. 

? came from a father named Bull; 

Is mother's proper name was Cow. 
great boon to people who plowed, 

? was thus called the Steer Hermit. 

The two of them swaggered in, and the Monster King hurried out to receive them. The Bear Mountain Lord said, “You are in top 
form, General Yin. Congratulations! Congratulations!” “General Yin looks better than ever,” said the Steer Hermit. “It’s marvelous! 
It’s marvelous!” “And you two gentlemen, how have you been these days?” asked the Monster King. “Just maintaining my idleness,” 
said the Mountain Lord. “Just keeping up with the times,” said the Hermit. After these exchanges, they sat down to chat some more. 

Meanwhile, one of Tripitaka’s attendants was bound so tightly that he began to moan pitifully. “How did these three get here?” asked 
the swarthy fellow. “They practically presented themselves at the door!” said the Monster King. “Can they be used for the guests’ 
dinner?” asked the Hermit, laughing. “By all means!” said the Monster King. “Let’s not finish them all up,” said the Mountain Lord. 
“We’ll dine on two of them and leave one over.” The Monster King agreed. He called his subordinates at once to have the attendants 
eviscerated and their carcasses carved up; their heads, hearts, and livers were to be presented to the guests, the limbs to the host, and 
the remaining portions of flesh and bone to the rest of the ogres. The moment the order was given, the ogres pounced on the attendants 
like tigers preying on sheep: munching and crunching, they devoured them in no time at all. The priest nearly died of fear, for this, you 
see, was his first bitter ordeal since his departure from Chang’an. 

As he was nursing his horror, light began to grow in the east. The two monsters did not retire until dawn. Saying, “We’re beholden 
to your generous hospitality today. Permit us to repay in kind in another time,” they left together. Soon the sun rose high in the sky, but 
Tripitaka was still in a stupor, unable to discern which way was north, south, east, or west. In that half-dead condition, he suddenly saw 
an old man approaching, holding a staff in his hands. Walking up to Tripitaka, the man waved his hands and all the ropes snapped. He 
then blew on Tripitaka, and the monk began to revive. Falling on the ground, he said, “I thank the aged father for saving the life of this 
poor monk!” “Get up,” the old man said, returning his salute, “have you lost anything?” 

“The followers of your poor monk,” said Tripitaka, “have been eaten by the monsters. I have no idea where my horse is or my 
luggage.” “Isn’t that your horse over there with the two bundles?” asked the old man, pointing with his staff. Tripitaka turned around 
and discovered that his belongings had indeed remained untouched. Somewhat relieved, he asked the old man, “Aged father, what is 
this place? How do you happen to be here?” “It is called the Double-Fork Ridge, a place infested with tigers and wolves. How did you 
manage to get here?” “At the first crow of the cock,” said Tripitaka, “your poor monk left the District of Hezhou. Little did I realize 

that we had risen too early, and we lost our way tramping through fog and dew. We came upon this Monster King so exceedingly 
ferocious that he captured me and my two followers. There was also a swarthy fellow called the Bear Mountain Lord and a husky 
fellow called the Steer Hermit. They arrived and addressed the Monster King as General Yin. All three of them devoured my two 
followers and retired only at dawn. I have no idea where I accrued the fortune and merit that caused the aged father to rescue me here.” 

“That Steer Hermit,” said the old man, “is a wild bull spirit; the Mountain Lord, a bear spirit; and General Yin, a tiger spirit. The 
various ogres are all demons of mountains and trees, spirits of strange beasts and wolves. Because of the primal purity of your nature, 
they cannot devour you. Follow me now, and I shall lead you on your way.” Tripitaka could not be more thankful. Fastening the 
bundles on the saddle and leading his horse, he followed the old man out of the pit and walked toward the main road. He tied the horse 
to the bushes beside the path and turned to thank the aged father. At that moment a gentle breeze swept by, and the old man rose into 
the air and left, riding on a white crane with a crimson head. As the wind subsided, a slip of paper fluttered down, with four lines of 
verse written on it: 

im the Planet Venus from the West, 
ho came to save you by special request, 
i me pupils divine will come to your aid. 
ame not the scriptures for hardships ahead. 

When Tripitaka read this, he bowed toward the sky saying, “I thank the Gold Star for seeing me through this ordeal.” After that, he led 
his horse off again on his lonely and melancholy journey. 

On this ridge truly you have 

old and soughing, the wind of the rainforest; 
irling and gurgling, the water of the brooklets; 

■agrant and musky, wildflowers in bloom; 
clutters and clumps, rough rocks piled high; 
tattering and clattering, the apes and the deer; 
rank and file, the musk and the fallow deer, 
iirping and cooing, birds frequently call, 
lent and still, not one man is in sight, 
tat master 

livers and quivers to his anxious mind, 
lis dear horse, 

ared and nervous, can barely raise his legs. 

Ready to abandon his body and sacrifice his life, Tripitaka started up that rugged mountain. He journeyed for half a day, but not a 
single human being or dwelling was in sight. He was gnawed by hunger and disheartened by the rough road. In that desperate moment, 
he saw two fierce tigers growling in front of him and several huge snakes circling behind him; vicious creatures appeared on his left 
and strange beasts on his right. As he was all by himself, Tripitaka had little alternative but to submit himself to the will of Heaven. As 
if to complete his helplessness, his horse’s back was sagging and its legs were buckling; it went to its knees and soon lay prostrate on 
the ground. He could budge it neither by beating nor by tugging. With hardly an inch of space to stand on, our Master of the Law was 
in the depths of despair, thinking that certain death would be his fate. We can tell you, however, that though he was in danger, help was 
on its way. For just as he thought he was about to expire, the vicious creatures began to scatter and the monstrous beasts fled; the fierce 
tigers vanished and the huge snakes disappeared. When Tripitaka looked further ahead, he saw a man coming over the mountain slope 
with a steel trident in his hands and bow and arrows at his waist. He was indeed a valiant figure! Look at him: 

? had on his head a cap 

f leopard skin, spotted and artemisia white; 

z wore on his body a robe 

r lamb’s wool with dark silk brocade. 

•ound his waist was tied a lion king belt, ^ 
id on his feet he wore tall boots of suede, 
is eyes would bulge like those of someone hung, 
is beard curled wildly like a fierce god’s! 
bow and poisoned arrows hung on him. 
z held a huge trident of finest steel, 
is voice like thunder appalled mountain cats, 
id wild pheasants quaked at his truculence. 

When Tripitaka saw him draw near, he knelt at the side of the path and called out, his hands clasped in front of him, “Great king, 
save me! Great king, save me!” The fellow came up to Tripitaka and put down his trident. Raising up the monk with his hands, he said, 
“Don’t be afraid. Elder, for I’m not a wicked man. I’m a hunter living in this mountain; my surname is Liu and my given name is 
Boqin. 1 also go by the nickname of Senior Guardian of the Mountain. I came here to find some animals to eat, not expecting to run 
into you. I hope I didn’t scare you.” 

“Your poor monk,” said Tripitaka, “is a cleric who has been sent by his Majesty, the Tang emperor, to seek scriptures from Buddha 
in the Western Heaven. When I arrived here a few moments ago, I was surrounded by tigers, wolves, and snakes, so that I could not 
proceed. But when the creatures saw you coming they all scattered, and you have thus saved my life. Many thanks! Many thanks!” 
“Since I live here and my livelihood depends on killing a few tigers and wolves,” said Boqin, “or catching a few snakes and reptiles, I 
usually frighten the wild beasts away. If you have come from the Tang empire, you are actually a native here, for this is still Tang 
territory and I am a Tang subject. You and I both live off the land belonging to the emperor so that we are in truth citizens of the same 
nation. Don’t be afraid. Follow me. You may rest your horse at my place, and I shall see you off in the morning.” Tripitaka was filled 
with delight when he heard these words, and he led his horse to follow the hunter. 

They passed the slope and again heard the howling of the wind. “Sit here. Elder,” said Boqin, “and don’t move. The sound of that 
wind tells me that a mountain cat is approaching. I’ll take him home so that I can make a meal of him for you.” When Tripitaka heard 
this, his heart hammered and his gall quivered and he became rooted to the ground. Grasping his trident, that Guardian strode forward 
and came face to face with a great striped tiger. Seeing Boqin, he turned and fled. Like a crack of thunder, the Guardian bellowed, 
“Cursed beast! Where will you flee?” When the tiger saw him pressing near, he turned with flailing claws to spring at him, only to be 

met by the Guardian with uplifted trident. Tripitaka was so terrified that he lay paralyzed on the grass. Since leaving his mother’s belly, 
when had he ever witnessed such violent and dangerous goings-on? The Guardian went after that tiger to the foot of the slope, and it 
was a magnificent battle between man and beast. You see 

iging resentment, 
id churning whirlwind, 
raging resentment 

le potent Guardian s hair pushed up his cap; 
ke churning whirlwind 

le striped prince belched dust, displaying his might, 
lis one bared its teeth and wielded its paws; 
mt one stepped sideways, yet turning to fight, 
le trident reached skyward, reflecting the sun. 
le striped tail stirred up both fog and cloud, 
lis one stabbed madly at the breast of his foe; 
tat one, facing him would swallow him whole, 
ay away and you may live out your years, 
in the fray and you ’ll meet Yama, the king! 

•u hear the roar of the striped prince 
id the harsh cries of the Guardian, 
le roar of the striped prince 

\ook mountains and streams to frighten birds and beasts; 

le harsh cries of the Guardian 

blocked the Heavens to make the stars appear. 

le gold eyeballs of this one protruded, 

id wrath burst from the bold heart of that one. 

ivable was Liu the Mountain Guardian; 

■aiseworthy was this king of the wild beasts. 

< tiger and man fought, each craving life — 
little slower, and one forfeits his soul! 

The two of them fought for about an hour, and as the paws of the tiger began to slow and his torso to slacken, he was downed by the 
Guardian’s trident stabbing him through the chest. A pitiful sight it was! The points of the trident pierced the heart, and at once the 
ground was covered with blood. 

The Guardian then dragged the beast by the ear up the road. What a man! He hardly panted, nor did his face change color. He said to 
Tripitaka, “We’re lucky! We’re lucky! This mountain cat should be sufficient for a day’s food for the elder.” Applauding him 
unceasingly, Tripitaka said, “The Guardian is truly a mountain god!” “What ability do I have,” said Boqin, “that I merit such acclaim? 
This is really the good fortune of the father. Let’s go. I’d like to skin him quickly so that I can cook some of his meat to entertain you.” 
He held the trident in one hand and dragged the tiger with the other, leading the way while Tripitaka followed him with his horse. They 
walked together past the slope and all at once came upon a mountain village, in front of which were 

Id trees soaring skyward, 

lads filled with wild creepers. 

countless canyons the wind was cool; 

n many ridges came strange sounds and sights. 

ne path’s wild blooms, their scent clung to one’s body; 

few poles of bamboo, what enduring green! 

le portal of grass, 

w wattle-fenced yard — 

picture to paint or sketch. 

le stone-slab bridge, 

le white-earth walls — 

ow charming indeed, and rare! 

iw in the wistful face of autumn, 

le air was cool and brisk, 

> the wayside yellow leaves fell; 
ver the peaks the white clouds drifted, 
thinly-grown woods the wild fowls twittered, 
id young dogs yelped outside the village gate. 

When Boqin reached the door of his house, he threw down the dead tiger and called, “Little ones, where are you?” Out came three or 
four houseboys, all looking rather unattractive and mean, who hauled the tiger inside. Boqin told them to skin it quickly and prepare it 
for the guest. He then turned around to welcome Tripitaka into his dwelling, and as they greeted each other, Tripitaka thanked him 
again for the great favor of saving his life. “We are fellow countrymen,” said Boqin, “and there’s little need for you to thank me.” After 
they had sat down and drunk tea, an old woman with someone who appeared to be her daughter-in-law came out to greet Tripitaka. 
“This is my mother, and this my wife,” said Boqin. “Pray ask your parent to take the honored seat,” said Tripitaka, “and let your poor 
monk pay his respects.” “Father is a guest coming from great distance,” said the old woman. “Please relax and don’t stand on 
ceremony.” “Mother,” said Boqin, “he has been sent by the Tang emperor to seek scriptures from Buddha in the Western Heaven. He 
met your son just now at the ridge. Since we are fellow countrymen, I invited him to the house to rest his horse. Tomorrow I shall see 
him on his way.” 

When she heard these words, the old woman was very pleased. “Good! Good! Good!” she said. “The timing couldn’t be better, even 
if we had planned to invite him. For tomorrow happens to be the anniversary of your late father’s death. Let us invite the elder to 
perform some good deeds and recite an appropriate passage of scripture. We shall see him off day after tomorrow.” Although he was a 
tiger slayer, a so-called “Guardian of the Mountain,” our Liu Boqin had a good deal of filial feeling for his mother. When he heard 
what she said, he immediately wanted to prepare the incense and the paper money, so that Tripitaka might be asked to stay. 

As they talked, the sky began to darken. The servants brought chairs and a table and set out several dishes of well-cooked tiger meat, 
steaming hot. Boqin invited Tripitaka to begin, telling him that rice would follow. “O dear!” said Tripitaka, his hands folded. “To tell 
you the truth, I have been a monk since leaving my mother’s womb, and I have never eaten any meat.” Hearing this, Boqin reflected 
awhile. He then said, “Elder, for generations this humble family has never kept a vegetarian diet. We could, I suppose, find some 
bamboo shoots and wood ears and prepare some dried vegetables and bean cakes, but they would all be cooked with the fat of deer or 
tigers. Even our pots and pans are grease-soaked! What am I to do? I must ask the elder’s pardon.” “Don’t fret,” said Tripitaka. “Enjoy 

the food yourself. Even if I were not to eat for three or four days, I could bear the hunger. But I dare not break the dietary 
commandment.” “Suppose you starve to death,” said Boqin, “what then?” “I am indebted to the Heavenly kindness of the Guardian,” 
said Tripitaka, “for saving me from the packs of tigers and wolves. Starving to death is better than being food for a tiger.” 

When Boqin’s mother heard this, she cried, “Son, stop such idle talk with the elder. Let me prepare a vegetarian dish to serve him.” 
“Where would you get such a dish?” said Boqin. “Never mind. I’ll fix it,” said his mother. She asked her daughter-in-law to take down 
a small cooking pan and heat it until much of the grease had burned off. They washed and scrubbed the pan again and again and then 
put it back on the stove and boiled some water in it. Taking some elm leaves from the mountain, they made soup with it, after which 
they cooked some rice with yellow millet mixed with Indian coni. They also prepared two bowls of dried vegetables and brought it all 
out to the table. “Elder,” the aged mother said to Tripitaka, “please have some. This is the cleanest and purest food that my daughter-in- 
law and I have ever prepared.” Tripitaka left his seat to thank her before sitting down again. Boqin removed himself to another place; 
dishes and bowls full of unsauced and unsalted tiger meat, musk deer meat, serpent meat, fox flesh, rabbit, and strips of cured venison 
were set before him. To keep Tripitaka company, he sat down and was about to pick up his chopsticks when he saw Tripitaka fold his 
hands and begin to recite something. Startled, Boqin dared not touch his chopsticks; he jumped up instead and stood to one side. 
Having uttered no more than a few phrases, Tripitaka said to him, “Please eat.” “You are a priest who likes to recite short scriptures,” 
said Boqin. “That was not scripture,” said Tripitaka, “only a prayer to be said before meals.” “You people who leave your families,” 
said Boqin, “are particular about everything! Even for a meal you have to mumble something!” 

They ate their dinner and the dishes and bowls were taken away. Evening was setting in when Boqin led Tripitaka out of the main 
hall to go for a walk at the back of the dwelling. They passed through a corridor and arrived at a straw shed. Pushing open the door, 
they walked inside, where they found several heavy bows and some quivers of arrows hanging on the walls. Two pieces of tiger skin, 
stinking and bloodstained, were draped over the cross beams, and a number of spears, knives, tridents, and rods were stuck into the 
ground at one comer. There were two seats in the middle of the shed, and Boqin invited Tripitaka to sit for a moment. Seeing that the 
place was so gruesome and putrid, Tripitaka dared not linger. They soon left the shed and walked further back to a huge garden, where 
there seemed to be no end of thick clumps of chrysanthemum piling their gold and stands of maple hoisting their crimson. With a loud 
rustle, more than a dozen fat deer and a large herd of musk deer jumped out. Calm and mild-mannered, they were not at all frightened 
at the sight of human beings. Tripitaka said, “You must have tamed these animals.” “Like the people in your city of Chang’an,” said 
Boqin, “where the affluent store up wealth and treasures and the landlords gather rice and grain, so we hunters must keep some of these 
wild beasts to prepare against dark days. That’s all!” As they walked and conversed, it grew dark, and they returned to the house to 

As soon as the members of the family, young and old, arose next morning, they went to prepare vegetarian food to serve to the 
priest, who was then asked to begin his recitations. Having first washed his hands, the priest went to the ancestral hall with the 
Guardian to bum incense. Only after he had bowed to the house shrine did Tripitaka beat on his wooden fish and recite first the true 
sentences for the purification of the mouth, and then the divine fonnula for the purification of mind and body. He went on to the Sutra 
for the Salvation of the Dead , after which Boqin requested him to compose in writing a specific prayer for the deliverance of the 
deceased. He then took up the Diamond Sutra and the Guanyin Sutra, each of which was given a loud and clear recitation. After lunch, 
he recited several sections from the Lotus Sutra and the Amitayus Sutra, before finishing with the Peacock Sutra and a brief recounting 
of the story of Buddha healing a bhiksu. s Soon it was evening again. All kinds of incense were burned together with the various paper 
horses, images of the deities, and the prayer for the deliverance of the deceased. The Buddhist service was thus completed, and each 
person retired. 

We shall now tell you about the soul of Boqin’s father, verily a ghost redeemed from perdition, who came to his own house and 
appeared to all the members of his family in a dream. “It was difficult,” he said, “for me to escape my bitter ordeals in the Region of 
Darkness, and for a long time I could not attain salvation. Fortunately, the holy monk’s recitations have now expiated my sins. King 
Yama has ordered someone to send me to the rich land of China, where I may assume my next incarnation in a noble family. All of 
you, therefore, must take care to thank the elder, and see that you are not negligent in any way. Now I leave you.” So it is that 

iere is, in all things, a solemn purpose: 

• save the dead from perdition and pain. 

When the whole family awoke from the dream, the sun was already rising in the east. The wife of Boqin said, “Guardian, I dreamed 
last night that father came to the house. He said that it was difficult for him to escape his bitter ordeals in the Region of Darkness, and 
that for a long time he could not attain salvation. Fortunately, the holy monk’s recitations have now expiated his sins, and King Yama 
has ordered someone to send him to the rich land of China where he may assume his next incarnation in a noble family. He told us to 
take care to thank the elder and not be negligent in any way. After he had finished speaking, he drifted away, despite my plea for him to 
stay. I woke up and it was all a dream!” 

“I had a dream also,” said Boqin, “one exactly like yours! Let’s get up and talk to mother about this.” The two of them were about to 
do so when they heard the old mother calling, “Boqin, come here. I want to talk to you.” They went in and found the mother sitting up 
in bed. “Son,” she said, “I had a happy dream last night. I dreamed that your father came to the house saying that, thanks to the 
redemptive work of the elder, his sins had been expiated. He is on his way to the rich land of China, where he will assume his next 
incarnation in a noble family.” Husband and wife laughed uproariously. 

Boqin said, “Your daughter-in-law and I both had this dream, and we were just coming to tell you. Little did we expect that mother’s 
call also had to do with this dream.” They therefore called on every member of the family to express their gratitude and prepare the 
monk’s horse for travel. They came bowing before the priest and said, “We thank the elder for providing life and deliverance for our 
deceased father, for which we can never repay you sufficiently.” “What has this poor monk accomplished,” said Tripitaka, “that merits 
such gratitude?” Boqin gave a thorough account of the dream that the three of them had, and Tripitaka was also very pleased. A 
vegetarian meal was again served, and a tael of silver was presented as a token of their gratitude. 

Tripitaka refused to accept so much as a penny, though the whole family begged him earnestly. He only said, “If, in compassion, you 

can escort me on the first part of my way, I shall ever be grateful for such kindness.” Boqin and his mother and wife had little 
alternative but hastily to prepare some biscuits from unrefined flour, which Tripitaka was glad to accept. Boqin was told to escort him 
as far as possible. Obeying his mother’s bidding, the Guardian also ordered several houseboys to join them, each bringing hunting 
equipment and weapons. They walked to the main road, and there seemed to be no end to the scenic splendor of the mountains and 

When they had traveled for half a day, they came upon a huge mountain so tall and rugged that it truly seemed to touch the blue sky. 
In a little while the whole company reached the foot of the mountain, and the Guardian began to ascend it as if he were walking on 
level ground. Halfway up, Boqin turned around and stood still at the side of the road, saying, “Elder, please go on yourself. I must now 
take leave of you and turn back.” When Tripitaka heard these words, he rolled down from his saddle and said, “I beg you to escort me 
a little further.” “You do not realize. Elder,” said Boqin, “that this mountain is called the Mountain of Two Frontiers; the eastern half 
belongs to our Great Tang domain, but the western half is the territory of the Tartars. The tigers and wolves over there are not my 
subjects, nor should I cross the border. You must proceed by yourself.” Tripitaka became fearful; he stretched out his hands and 
clutched at the sleeves of the hunter, tears pouring from his eyes. 

It was at this tender moment of farewell that there came from beneath the mountain a thunderous voice crying, “My master has 
come! My master has come!” Tripitaka was dumbfounded, and Boqin trembled. 


Mind Monkey returns to the Right; 

The 6 Robbers vanish from sight. ^ 

ind is the Buddha and the Buddha is Mind; 

)th Mind and Buddha are important things, 
you perceive there's neither Mind nor Thing, 

'urs is the dharmakdya of True Mind. 

le dharmakdya 

'is no shape or form: 

ne pearl-like radiance holding myriad things, 
le bodiless body is the body true, 
id real form is that form which has no form, 
tere’s no form, no void, no no-emptiness; 

7 coming, no leaving, no paririamana, 

7 contrast, no sameness, no being or nonbeing: 
y giving, no taking, no hopeful craving, 
ght efficacious is in and out the same, 
iddha s whole realm is in a grain of sand, 
grain of sand the chiliocosm holds; 

•ie mind or body’s like ten thousand things. 

• know this you must grasp the No-mind Spell; 
nclogged and taintless is the karma pure, 
on’t do the many acts of good or ill: 
lis is true submission to Sdkyamuni? 

We were telling you about Tripitaka and Boqin, who, in fear and alarm, again heard the cry, “My Master has come!’' The various 
houseboys said, “It must be the old ape in that stone box beneath the mountain who is shouting.” “It’s he! It’s he!” said the Guardian. 
Tripitaka asked, “Who is this old ape?” 

“The ancient name of this mountain,” said the Guardian, “was the Mountain of Five Phases. It was changed to the Mountain of the 
Two Frontiers as a result of our Great Tang ruler’s western campaigns to secure his empire. A few years ago, I heard from my elders 
that during the time when Wang Mang usurped the throne of the Han emperor, 4 this mountain fell from Heaven with a divine monkey 
clamped beneath it. He feared neither heat nor cold, and he took neither food nor drink. He had been watched and guarded by the 
spirits of the Earth, who fed hint iron balls when he was hungry and juices of bronze when he was thirsty. He has lasted from that time 
until now, surviving both cold and hunger. He must be the one who is making all this noise. Don’t be afraid, Elder. Let’s go down the 
mountain to take a look.” 

Tripitaka had to agree and led his horse down the mountain. They had traveled only a few miles when they came upon a stone box in 
which there was indeed a monkey who, with his head sticking out, was waving his hands wildly and crying, “Master, why have you 
taken so long to get here? Welcome! Welcome! Get me out, and I’ll protect you on your way to the Western Heaven!” The priest went 
forward to look more closely at him. “How does he look?” you ask. 

pointed mouth and hollow cheeks; 
vo diamond pupils and fiery eyes, 
chens had piled on his head; 
isteria grew in his ears. 

> his temples was more green grass than hair; 
meath his chin, moss instead of a beard, 
ith mud on his brow, 
id earth in his nose, 

? looked most desperate! 

!s fingers coarse 
id calloused palms 
2 re caked in filth and dirt! 
ickily, his eyes could still roll about, 
id the apish tongue, articulate, 
tough in speech he had great ease, 

!s body he could not move. 

2 was the Great Sage Sun of five hundred years ago. 

•day his ordeal ends, he leaves Heaven’s net. 

Undeniably a courageous person, that Guardian Liu went up to the creature and pulled away some of the grass at his temples and 
some of the moss beneath his chin. He asked, “What do you have to say?” “Nothing to you,” said the monkey, “but ask that master to 
come up here. I have a question for him.” 

“What’s your question?” asked Tripitaka. “Are you someone sent by the great king of the Land of the East to go seek scriptures in 
the Western Heaven?” asked the monkey. “I am,” said Tripitaka. “Why do you ask?” 

“I am the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven,” said the monkey, “who greatly disturbed the Heavenly Palace five hundred years ago. 
Because of my sin of rebellion and disobedience, I was imprisoned here by the Buddha. Some time ago, a certain Bodhisattva Guanyin 
had received the decree of Buddha to go to the Land of the East in quest of a scripture pilgrim. I asked her to give me some help, and 
she persuaded me not to engage again in violence. I was told to believe in the Law of Buddha and faithfully to protect the scripture 
pilgrim on his way to worship Buddha in the West, for there would be a goodly reward reserved for me when such merit is achieved. I 
have therefore been maintaining my vigilance night and day, waiting for the Master to come to rescue me. I'm willing to protect you in 
your quest of scriptures and become your disciple.” 

When Tripitaka heard these words, he was filled with delight and said, “Though you have this good intention, thanks to the 
Bodhisattva’s instruction, of entering our Buddhist fold, I have neither ax nor drill. How can I free you?” “No need for ax or drill,” said 
the monkey. “If you are willing to rescue me, I’ll be able to get out.” Tripitaka said, “I’m willing, but how can you get out?” “On top of 
this mountain,” said the monkey, “there is a tag stamped with the golden letters of our Buddha Tathagata. Go up there and lift up the 

tag. Then I’ll come out.” Tripitaka agreed and turned to Boqin, imploring him, “Guardian, come with me up the mountain.” “Do you 
think he’s speaking the truth?” asked Boqin. “It’s the truth!” the monkey shouted. “I dare not lie!” 

Boqin had no choice but to call his houseboys to lead the horses. He himself supported Tripitaka with his hands, and they again 
started up the tall mountain. Tugging at creepers and vines, they finally arrived at the highest peak, where they beheld ten thousand 
shafts of golden light and a thousand folds of hallowed air. There was a huge square slab of stone, on which was taped a seal with the 
golden letters, Om mani padme hum. Tripitaka approached the stone and knelt down; he looked at the golden letters and kowtowed 
several times to the stone. Then, facing the West, he prayed: “Your disciple, Chen Xuanzang, was specifically commanded to seek 
scriptures from you. If it is so ordained that he should be my disciple, let me lift up those golden letters so that the divine monkey may 
find release and join me at the Spirit Mountain. If he is not predestined to be my disciple, if he is only a cruel monster trying to deceive 
me and to bring misfortune to our enterprise, let me not lift up this tape.” He kowtowed again after he had prayed. Going forward, with 
the greatest of ease he took down the golden letters. A fragrant wind swept by immediately and blew the tag out of his hands into the 
air as a voice called out, “I am the prison guard of the Great Sage. Today his ordeal is completed, and my colleagues and I are returning 
this seal to Tathagata.” Tripitaka, Boqin, and their followers were so terrified that they fell on the ground and bowed toward the sky. 
They then descended from the tall mountain and came back to the stone box, saying to the monkey, “The tag has been lifted. You may 
come out.” Delighted, the monkey said, “Master, you had better walk away from here so that I can come out. I don’t want to frighten 

When Boqin heard this, he led Tripitaka and the rest of the company to walk back eastward for five or six miles. Again they heard 
the monkey yelling, “Further still! Further still!” So Tripitaka and the others went still further until they had left the mountain. All at 
once came a crash so loud that it was as if the mountain was cracking and the earth splitting wide open; everyone was awestruck. The 
next moment the monkey was already in front of Tripitaka's horse; completely naked, he knelt down and cried, “Master, I’m out!” He 
bowed four times toward Tripitaka, and then, jumping up, he said to Boqin respectfully, “I thank Elder Brother for taking the trouble of 
escorting my master. I’m grateful also for your shaving the grass from my face.” Having thanked him, he went at once to put the 
luggage in order so that it could be tied onto the horse’s back. When the horse saw him, its torso slackened and its legs stiffened. In 
fear and trembling, it could hardly stand up. For you see, that monkey had been a BanHorsePlague, who used to look after dragon 
horses in the celestial stables. His authority was such that horses of this world inevitably would fear him when they saw him. 

When Tripitaka saw that the monkey was truly a person of good intentions, someone who truly resembled those who had embraced 
the Buddhist faith, he called to him, “Disciple, what is your surname?” “My surname is Sun,” said the Monkey King. “Let me give you 
a religious name,” said Tripitaka, “so that it will be convenient to address you.” “This noble thought of the master is deeply 
appreciated,” said the Monkey King, “but I already have a religious name. I’m called Sun Wukong.” “It exactly fits the emphasis of 
our denomination,” said Tripitaka, delighted. “But look at you, you look rather like a little dhuta. 5 Let me give you a nickname and call 
you Pilgrim Sun. 6 How’s that?” “Good! Good!” said Wukong. So from then on, he was also called Pilgrim Sun. 

When Boqin saw that Pilgrim Sun was definitely preparing to leave, he turned to speak respectfully to Tripitaka, saying, “Elder, you 
are fortunate to have made an excellent disciple here. Congratulations! This person should be most fit to accompany you. I must take 
leave of you now.” Bowing to thank him, Tripitaka said, “I cannot thank you enough for all your kindness. Please be certain to thank 
your dear mother and wife when you return to your house. I have caused you all great inconvenience, and I shall thank you again on 
my way back.” Boqin returned his salutation, and they parted. 

We shall now tell you about Pilgrim Sun, who asked Tripitaka to mount his horse. He himself, stark naked, carried the luggage on 
his back and led the way. In a little while, as they were passing the Mountain of Two Frontiers, they saw a fierce tiger approaching, 
growling and waving its tail. Tripitaka, sitting on his horse, became alanned, but Pilgrim, walking at the side of the road, was 
delighted. “Don’t be afraid, Master,” he said, “for he’s here to present me with some clothes.” He put down the luggage and took a tiny 
needle out of his ears. One wave of it facing the wind, and it became an iron rod with the thickness of a rice bowl. He held it in his 
hands and laughed, saying, “I haven’t used this treasure for over five hundred years! Today I’m taking it out to bag a little garment for 
myself.” Look at him! He strode right up to the tiger, crying, “Cursed beast! Where do you think you’re going?” Crouching low, the 
tiger lay prone on the dust and dared not move. Pilgrim Sun aimed the rod at its head, and one stroke caused its brain to burst out like 
ten thousand red petals of peach blossoms, and the teeth to fly out like so many pieces of white jade. So terrified was our Chen 
Xuanzang that he fell off his horse. “O God! O God!” he cried, biting his fingers. “When Guardian Liu overcame that striped tiger the 
other day, he had to do battle with him for almost half a day. But without even fighting today, Sun Wukong reduces the tiger to pulp 
with one blow of his rod. How true is the saying, ‘For the strong, there’s always someone stronger!’” 

“Master,” said Pilgrim as he returned dragging the tiger, “sit down for awhile, and wait till I have stripped him of his clothes. When I 
put them on, we’ll start off again.” “Where does he have any clothes?” asked Tripitaka. “Don’t mind me, Master,” said Pilgrim, “I have 
my own plan.” Dear Monkey King! He pulled off one strand of hair and blew a mouthful of magic breath onto it, crying, “Change!” It 
changed into a sharp, curved knife, with which he ripped open the tiger’s chest. Slitting the skin straight down, he then ripped it off in 
one piece. He chopped away the paws and the head, cutting the skin into one square piece. He picked it up and tried it for size, and 
then said, “It’s a bit too large; one piece can be made into two.” He took the knife and cut it again into two pieces; he put one of these 
away and wrapped the other around his waist. Ripping off a strand of rattan from the side of the road, he firmly tied on this covering 
for the lower part of his body. “Master,” he said, “let’s go! Let’s go! When we reach someone’s house, we will have sufficient time to 
borrow some threads and a needle to sew this up.” He gave his iron rod a squeeze and it changed back into a tiny needle, which he 
stored in his ear. Throwing the luggage on his back, he asked his Master to mount the horse. 

As they set off, the monk asked him, “Wukong, how is it that the iron rod you used to slay the tiger has disappeared?” “Master,” said 
Pilgrim laughing, “you have no idea what that rod of mine really is. It was acquired originally from the Dragon Palace in the Eastern 
Ocean. It’s called the Precious Divine Iron for Guarding the Heavenly River, and another name of it is the Compliant Golden-Hooped 
Rod. At the time when I revolted against Heaven, I depended on it a great deal; for it could change into any shape or form, great or 
small, according to my wish. Just now I had it changed into a tiny embroidery needle, and it’s stored that way in my ear. When I need 
it, I'll take it out.” Secretly pleased by what he heard, Tripitaka asked another question: “Why did that tiger become completely 

motionless when it saw you? How do you explain the fact that it simply let you hit it?” “To tell you the truth,” said Wukong, “even a 
dragon, let alone this tiger, would behave itself if it had seen me! I, old Monkey, possess the ability to subdue dragons and tame tigers, 
and the power to overturn rivers and stir up oceans. I can look at a person’s countenance and discern his character; I can listen merely 
to sounds and discover the truth. If I want to be big, I can fill the universe; if I want to be small, I can be smaller than a piece of hair. In 
sum, I have boundless ways of transformation and incalculable means of becoming visible or invisible. What’s so strange, then, about 
my skinning a tiger? Wait till we come to some real difficulties—you’ll see my talents then!” When Tripitaka heard these words, he 
was more relieved than ever and urged his horse forward. So master and disciple, the two of them, chatted as they journeyed, and soon 
the sun sank in the west. You see 

I ft glow of the fading twilight, 
id distant clouds slowly returning, 
n every hill swells the chorus of birds, 
ocking to shelter in the woods. 

te wild beasts in couples and pairs, 

packs and groups they trek homeward. 

te new moon, hooklike, breaks the spreading gloom 

ith ten thousand stars luminous ? 

Pilgrim said, “Master, let’s move along, for it’s getting late. There are dense clumps of trees over there, and I suppose there must be 
a house or village too. Let’s hurry over there and ask for lodging.” Urging his horse forward, Tripitaka went straight up to a house and 
dismounted. Pilgrim threw down the bag and went to the door, crying, “Open up! Open up!” An old man came to the door, leaning on a 
cane. When he pulled open the creaking door, he was panic-stricken by the hideous appearance of Pilgrim, who had the tiger skin 
around his waist and looked like a thunder god. He began to shout, “A ghost! A ghost!” and other such foolish words. Tripitaka drew 
near and took hold of him, saying, “Old Patron, don’t be afraid. He is my disciple, not a ghost.” Only when he looked up and saw the 
handsome features of Tripitaka did the old man stand still. “Which temple are you from,” he asked, “and why are you bringing such a 
nasty character to my door?” 

“I am a poor monk from the Tang court,” said Tripitaka, “on my way to seek scriptures from Buddha in the Western Heaven. We 
were passing through here and it was getting late; that is why we made so bold as to approach your great mansion and beg you for a 
night’s lodging. We plan to leave tomorrow before it’s light, and we beseech you not to deny our request.” 

“Though you may be a Tang man,” the old man said, “that nasty character is certainly no Tang man!” “Old fellow!” cried Wukong in 
a loud voice, “you really can’t see, can you? The Tang man is my master, and I am his disciple. Of course, I’m no sugar man 8 or honey 
man! I am the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven! The members of your family should recognize me. Moreover, I have seen you before.” 

“Where have you seen me before?” “When you were young,” said Wukong, “didn’t you gather firewood before my eyes? Didn’t you 
haul vegetables before my face?” The old man said, “That’s nonsense! Where did you live? And where was I, that I should have 
gathered firewood and hauled vegetables before your eyes?” “Only my son would talk nonsense!” said Wukong. “You really don’t 
recognize me! Take a closer look! I am the Great Sage in the stone box of this Mountain of Two Frontiers.” “You do look somewhat 
like him,” said the old man, half recognizing the figure before him, “but how did you get out?” Wukong thereupon gave a thorough 
account of how the Bodhisattva had converted him and how she had asked him to wait for the Tang Monk to lift the tag for his 

After that, the old man bowed deeply and invited Tripitaka in, calling for his aged wife and his children to come out and meet the 
guests. When he told them what had happened, everyone was delighted. Tea was then served, after which the old man asked Wukong, 
“How old are you, Great Sage?” “And how old are you?” asked Wukong. “I have lived foolishly for one hundred and thirty years!” 
said the old man. “You are still my great-great-great-great-grandson!” said Pilgrim. “I can’t remember when I was bom, but I have 
spent over five hundred years underneath this mountain.” “Yes, yes,” said the old man. “I remember my great-grandfather saying that 
when this mountain dropped from the sky, it had a divine ape clamped underneath it. To think that you should have waited until now 
for your freedom! When I saw you in my childhood, you had grass on your head and mud on your face, but I wasn’t afraid of you then. 
Now without mud on your face and grass on your head, you seem a bit thinner. And with that huge piece of tiger skin draped around 
your waist, what great difference is there between you and a demon?” 

When the members of his family heard this remark, they all roared with laughter. Being a rather decent fellow, that old man at once 
ordered a vegetarian meal to be prepared. Afterwards Wukong said, “What is your family name?” “Our humble family,” said the old 
man, “goes by the name of Chen.” When Tripitaka heard this, he left his seat to salute him, saying, “Old Patron, you and I share the 
same illustrious clan.” 9 “Master,” said Pilgrim, “your surname is Tang. How can it be that you and he share the same illustrious 
ancestors?” Tripitaka said, “The surname of my secular family is also Chen, and I come from the Juxian Village, in the Hongnong 
District of Haizhou in the Tang domain. My religious name is Chen Xuanzang. Because our Great Tang Emperor Taizong made me his 
brother by decree, I took the name Tripitaka and used Tang as my surname. Hence I’m called the Tang Monk.” The old man was very 
pleased to hear that they had the same surname. 

“Old Chen,” said Pilgrim, “I must trouble your family some more, for I haven’t taken a bath for five hundred years! Please go and 
boil some water so that my master and I, his disciple, can wash ourselves. We shall thank you all the more when we leave.” The old 
man at once gave the order for water to be boiled and basins to be brought in with several lamps. As master and disciple sat before the 
lamps after their baths. Pilgrim said, “Old Chen, I still have one more favor to ask of you. Can you lend me a needle and some thread?” 
“Of course, of course,” replied the old man. One of the amahs was told to fetch the needle and thread, which were then handed over to 
Pilgrim. Pilgrim, you see, had the keenest sight; he noticed that Tripitaka had taken off a shirt made of white cloth and had not put it on 
again after his bath. Pilgrim grabbed it and put it on himself. Taking off his tiger skin, he sewed the hems together using a “horse-face 
fold” lo and fastened it round his waist again with the strand of rattan. He paraded in front of his master saying, “How does old Monkey 
look today compared with the way he looked yesterday?” “Very good,” said Tripitaka, “very good! Now you do look like a pilgrim! If 
you don’t think that the shirt is too worn or old, you may keep it.” “Thanks for the gift!” said Wukong respectfully. He then went out to 
find some hay to feed the horse, after which master and disciple both retired with the old man and his household. 

The next morning Wukong arose and woke up his master to get ready for the journey. Tripitaka dressed himself while Wukong put 
their luggage in order. They were about to leave when the old man brought in washing water and some vegetarian food, and so they did 
not set out until after the meal. Tripitaka rode his horse with Pilgrim leading the way; they journeyed by day and rested by night, taking 
food and drink according to their needs. Soon it was early winter. You see 

■ost-blighted maples and the wizened trees; 

’w verdant pine and cypress still on the ridge, 
idding plum blossoms spread their gentle scent, 
le brief, warm day — 

Little Spring gift ! 1 1 

it dying lilies yield to the lush wild tea. 

cold bridge struggles against an old tree’s bough, 
id gurgling water flows in the winding brook, 
my clouds, snow-laden, float throughout the sky. 
le strong, cold wind 
ars at the sleeve! 

ow does one bear this chilly might of night? * ^ 

Master and disciple had traveled for some time when suddenly six men jumped out from the side of the road with much clamor, all 
holding long spears and short swords, sharp blades and strong bows. “Stop, monk!” they cried. “Leave your horse and drop your bag at 
once, and we’ll let you pass on alive!” Tripitaka was so terrified that his soul left him and his spirit fled; he fell from his horse, unable 
to utter a word. But Pilgrim lifted him up, saying, “Don’t be alarmed. Master. It’s nothing really, just some people coming to give us 
clothes and a travel allowance!” “Wukong,” said Tripitaka, “you must be a little hard of hearing! They told us to leave our bag and our 
horse, and you want to ask them for clothes and a travel allowance?” “You just stay here and watch our belongings,” said Pilgrim, “and 
let old Monkey confront them. We’ll see what happens.” Tripitaka said, “Even a good punch is no match for a pair of fists, and two 
fists can’t cope with four hands! There are six big fellows over there, and you are such a tiny person. How can you have the nerve to 
confront them?” 

As he always had been audacious, Pilgrim did not wait for further discussion. He walked forward with arms folded and saluted the 
six men, saying, “Sirs, for what reason are you blocking the path of this poor monk?” “We are kings of the highway,” said the men, 
“philanthropic mountain lords. Our fame has long been known, though you seem to be ignorant of it. Leave your belongings at once, 
and you will be allowed to pass. If you but utter half a no, you’ll be chopped to pieces!” “I have been also a great hereditary king and a 
mountain lord for centuries,” said Pilgrim, “but I have yet to learn of your illustrious names.” 

“So you really don’t know!” one of them said. “Let’s tell you then: one of us is named Eye That Sees and Delights; another, Ear That 
Hears and Rages; another Nose That Smells and Loves; another, Tongue That Tastes and Desires; another, Mind That Perceives and 
Covets; and another, Body That Bears and Suffers.” “You are nothing but six hairy brigands,” said Wukong laughing, “who have failed 
to recognize in me a person who has left the family, your proper master. How dare you bar my way? Bring out the treasures you have 
stolen so that you and I can divide them into seven portions. I’ll spare you then!” Hearing this, the robbers all reacted with rage and 
amusement, covetousness and fear, desire and anxiety. They rushed forward crying, “You reckless monk! You haven’t a thing to offer 
us, and yet you want us to share our loot with you!” Wielding spears and swords, they surrounded Pilgrim and hacked away at his head 
seventy or eighty times. Pilgrim stood in their midst and behaved as if nothing were happening. 

“What a monk!” said one of the robbers. “He really does have a hard head!” “Passably so!” said Pilgrim, laughing. “But your hands 
must be getting tired from all that exercise; it’s about time for old Monkey to take out his needle for a little entertainment.” “This monk 
must be an acupuncture man in disguise,” said the robber. “We’re not sick! What’s all this about using a needle?” Pilgrim reached into 
his ear and took out a tiny embroidery needle; one wave of it in the wind and it became an iron rod with the thickness of a rice bowl. 
He held it in his hands, saying, “Don’t run! Let old Monkey try his hand on you with this rod!” The six robbers fled in all directions, 
but with great strides he caught up with them and rounded all of them up. He beat every one of them to death, stripped them of their 
clothes, and seized their valuables. Then Pilgrim came back smiling broadly and said, “You may proceed now, Master. Those robbers 
have been exterminated by old Monkey.” 

“That’s a terrible thing you have done!” said Tripitaka. "They may have been strong men on the highway, but they would not have 
been sentenced to death even if they had been caught and tried. If you have such abilities, you should have chased them away. Why did 
you slay them all? How can you be a monk when you take life without cause? We who have left the family should 

iep ants out of harm's way when we sweep the floor, 
id put shades on lamps for the love of moths. 

How can you kill them just like that, without regard for black or white? You showed no mercy at all! It’s a good thing that we are here 
in the mountains, where any further investigation will be unlikely. But suppose someone offends you when we reach a city and you 
perpetrate violence again, hitting people indiscriminately with that rod of yours—would I be able to remain innocent and get away 

“Master,” said Wukong, “if I hadn’t killed them, they would have killed you!” Tripitaka said, “As a priest, I would rather die than 
practice violence. If I were killed, there would be only one of me, but you slaughtered six persons. How can you justify that? If this 
matter were brought before a judge, and even if your old man were the judge, you certainly would not be able to justify your action.” 
“To tell you the truth, Master,” said Pilgrim, “when I, old Monkey, was king on the Flower-Fruit Mountain five hundred years ago, I 
killed I don’t know how many people. I would not have been a Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, if I had lived by what you are saying.” 
“It’s precisely because you had neither scruples nor self-control,” said Tripitaka, “unleashing your waywardness on Earth and 
spreading outrage in Heaven, that you had to undergo this ordeal of five hundred years. Now that you have entered the fold of 
Buddhism, if you still insist on practicing violence and indulge in the taking of life as before, you are not worthy to be a monk, nor can 
you go to the Western Heaven. You’re wicked! You’re just too wicked!” 

Now this monkey had never in all his life been able to tolerate scolding. When he heard Tripitaka’s persistent reprimand, he could 
not suppress the flames leaping up in his heart. “If that’s what you think,” he said. “If you think I’m not worthy to be a monk, nor can I 

go to the Western Heaven, you needn’t bother me further with your nagging! I’ll leave and go back!” Before Tripitaka had time to 
reply, Pilgrim was already so enraged that he leaped into the air, crying only, “Old Monkey’s off!” Tripitaka quickly raised his head to 
look, but the monkey had already disappeared, trailed only by a swishing sound fading fast toward the East. Left by himself, the priest 
could only shake his head and sigh, “That fellow! He’s so unwilling to be taught! I only said a few words to him. How could he vanish 
without a trace and go back just like that? Well, well, well! It must be also that I am destined not to have a disciple or any other 
companion, for now I couldn’t even call him or locate him if I wanted to. I might as well go on by myself!” So, he was prepared to 

ty down his life and go toward the West, 

• be his own master and on none rely. 

The elder had little alternative but to pack up his bag and put it on the horse, which he did not even bother to mount. Holding his 
staff in one hand and the reins in the other, he set off sadly toward the West. He had not traveled far when he saw an old woman before 
him on the mountain road, holding a silk garment and a cap with a floral design. When Tripitaka saw her approach, he hastened to pull 
his horse aside for her to pass. “Elder, where do you come from,” asked the old woman, “and why are you walking here all by 
yourself?” Tripitaka replied, “Your child was sent by the Great King of the Land of the East to seek true scriptures from the living 
Buddha in the Western Heaven.” “The Buddha of the West,” said the old woman, “lives in the Great Temple of Thunderclap in the 
territory of India, and the journey there is one hundred and eight thousand miles long. You are all by yourself with neither a 
companion nor a disciple. How can you possibly think of going there?” “A few days ago,” said Tripitaka, “I did pick up a disciple, a 
rather unruly and headstrong character. I scolded him a little, but he refused to be taught, and disappeared.” The old woman said, “I 
have here a silk shirt and a flower cap inlaid with gold, which used to belong to my son. He had been a monk for only three days when 
unfortunately he died. 1 have just finished mourning him at the temple, where I was given these things by his master to be kept in his 
memory. Father, since you have a disciple, I’ll give the shirt and the cap to you.” “I’m most grateful for your lavish gifts,” said 
Tripitaka, “but my disciple has left. I dare not take them.” “Where did he go?” asked the old woman. Tripitaka replied, “I heard a 
swishing sound heading toward the east.” “My home is not too far away in the east,” said the old woman, “and he may be going there. 
I have a spell which is called the True Words for Controlling the Mind, or the Tight-Fillet Spell. You must memorize it secretly; 
commit it firmly to your memory, and don’t let anyone learn of it. I’ll try to catch up with him and persuade him to come back and 
follow you. When he returns, give him the shirt and the cap to wear; and if he again refuses to obey you, recite the spell silently. He 
will not dare do violence or leave you again.” 

On hearing these words, Tripitaka bowed his head to thank her. The old woman changed herself into a shaft of golden light and 
vanished toward the east. Then Tripitaka realized that it was the Bodhisattva Guanyin who had taught him the True Words; he 
hurriedly picked up a few pinches of earth with his fingers and scattered them like incense, bowing reverently toward the East. He then 
took the shirt and the cap and hid them in his bag. Sitting beside the road, he began to recite the True Words for Controlling the Mind. 
After a few times, he knew it thoroughly by heart, but we shall speak no more of him for the time being. 

We now tell you about Wukong, who, having left his master, headed straight toward the Eastern Ocean with a single cloud 
somersault. He stopped his cloud, opened up a path in the water, and went directly to the Water Crystal Palace. Learning of his arrival, 
the Dragon King came out to welcome him. After they had exchanged greetings and sat down, the Dragon King said, “I heard recently 
that the ordeal of the Great Sage had been completed, and I apologize for not having congratulated you yet. 1 suppose you have again 
taken occupancy in your immortal mountain and returned to the ancient cave.” “I was so inclined,” said Wukong, “but I became a 
monk instead.” “What sort of a monk?” asked the Dragon King. “I was indebted to the Bodhisattva of South Sea,” said Pilgrim, “who 
persuaded me to do good and seek the truth. I was to follow the Tang Monk from the Land of the East to go worship Buddha in the 
West. Since entering the fold of Buddhism, I was given also the name ‘Pilgrim.’” “That is indeed praiseworthy!” said the Dragon 
King. “You have, as we say, left the wrong and followed the right; you have been created anew by setting your mind on goodness. But 
if that’s the case, why are you not going toward the West, but are returning eastward instead?” 

Pilgrim laughed and said, “That Tang Monk knows nothing of human nature! There were a few ruffians who wanted to rob us, and I 
slew them all. But that Tang Monk couldn’t stop nagging me, telling me over and over how wrong I was. Can you imagine old Monkey 
putting up with that sort of tedium? I just left him! I was on my way back to my mountain when I decided to come visit you and ask for 
a cup of tea.” “Thanks for coming! Thanks for coming!” exclaimed the Dragon King. At that moment, the Dragon sons and grandsons 
presented them with aromatic tea. When they finished the tea, Pilgrim happened to turn around and saw hanging behind him on the 
wall a painting on the “Presentation of Shoes at Yi Bridge.” “What’s this all about?” asked Pilgrim. The Dragon King replied, “The 
incident depicted in the painting took place some time after you were bom, and you may not recognize what it was—the threefold 
presentation of shoes at Yi Bridge.” “What do you mean by the threefold presentation of shoes?” asked Pilgrim. 

“The immortal in the painting,” said the Dragon King, “was named Huang Shigong, 1 ’ and the young man kneeling in front of him 
was called Zhang Liang. 14 Shigong was sitting on the Yi Bridge when suddenly one of his shoes fell off and dropped under the bridge. 
He asked Zhang Liang to fetch it, and the young man quickly did so, putting it back on for him as he knelt there. This happened three 
times. Since Zhang Liang did not display the slightest sign of pride or impatience, he won the affection of Shigong, who imparted to 
him that night a celestial manual and told him to support the house of Han. Afterwards, Zhang Liang ‘made his plans sitting in a 
military tent to achieve victories a thousand miles away.’ 15 When the Han dynasty was established, he left his post and went into the 
mountains, where he followed the Daoist, Master Red Pine, 16 and became enlightened in the way of immortality. Great Sage, if you do 
not accompany the Tang Monk, if you are unwilling to exercise diligence or to accept instruction, you will remain a bogus immortal 
after all. Don’t think that you’ll ever acquire the Fruits of Truth.” 

Wukong listened to these words and fell silent for some time. The Dragon King said, “Great Sage, you must make the decision 
yourself. It’s unwise to allow momentary comfort to jeopardize your future.” “Not another word!” said Wukong. “Old Monkey will go 
back to accompany him, that’s all!” Delighted, the Dragon King said, “If that’s your wish, I dare not detain you. Instead, I ask the 
Great Sage to show his mercy at once and not permit his master to wait any longer.” When Pilgrim heard this exhortation to leave, he 
bounded right out of the oceanic region; mounting the clouds, he left the Dragon King. 

On his way he ran right into the Bodhisattva of South Sea. “Sun Wukong,” said the Bodhisattva, “why did you not listen to me and 
accompany the Tang Monk? What are you doing here?” Pilgrim was so taken aback that he saluted her on top of the clouds. “I’m most 
grateful for the kind words of the Bodhisattva,” he said. “A monk from the Tang court did appear, lifted the seal, and saved my life. I 
became his disciple, but he blamed me for being too violent. I walked out on him for a little while, but I’m going back right now to 
accompany him.” “Go quickly then,” said the Bodhisattva, “before you change your mind again.” They finished speaking and each 
went on his way. In a moment, our Pilgrim saw the Tang Monk sitting dejectedly at the side of the road. He approached him and said, 
“Master, why are you not on the road? What are you doing here?” “Where have you been?” asked Tripitaka, looking up. “Your absence 
has forced me to sit here and wait for you, not daring to walk or move.” Pilgrim replied, “I just went to the home of the old Dragon 
King at the Eastern Ocean to ask for some tea.” 

“Disciple,” said Tripitaka, “those who have left the family should not lie. It was less than an hour since you left me, and you claim to 
have had tea at the home of the Dragon King?” “To tell you the truth,” said Pilgrim, laughing, “I know how to cloud somersault, and a 
single somersault will carry me one hundred and eight thousand miles. That’s why I can go and return in no time at all.” Tripitaka said, 
“Because I spoke to you a little sharply, you were offended and left me in a rage. With your ability, you could go and ask for some tea, 
but a person like me has no other prospect but to sit here and endure hunger. Do you feel comfortable about that?” “Master,” said 
Pilgrim, “if you’re hungry, I’ll go beg some food for you.” “There’s no need to beg,” said Tripitaka, “for I still have in my bag some 
dried goods given to me by the mother of Guardian Liu. Fetch me some water in that bowl. I’ll eat some food and we can start out 

Pilgrim went to untie the bag and found some biscuits made of unrefined flour, which he took out and handed over to the master. He 
then saw light glowing from a silk shirt and a flower cap inlaid with gold. “Did you bring this garment and cap from the Land of the 
East?” he asked. “I wore these in my childhood,” said Tripitaka nonchalantly. “If you wear the hat, you’ll know how to recite scriptures 
without having to learn them; if you put on the garment, you’ll know how to perform rituals without having to practice them.” “Dear 
Master,” said Pilgrim, “let me put them on.” “They may not fit you,” said Tripitaka, “but if they do, you may wear them.” Pilgrim 
thereupon took off his old shirt made of white cloth and put on the silk shirt, which seemed to have been made especially for him. Then 
he put on the cap as well. When Tripitaka saw that he had put on the cap, he stopped eating the dried goods and began to recite the 
Tight-Fillet Spell silently. 

“Oh, my head!” cried Pilgrim. “It hurts! It hurts!” The master went through the recitation several times without ceasing, and the pain 
was so intense that Pilgrim was rolling on the ground, his hands gripping the flower cap inlaid with gold. Fearing that he might break 
the gold fillet, Tripitaka stopped reciting and the pain ceased. Pilgrim touched his head with his hand and felt that it was tightly bound 
by a thin metal band; it could be neither pulled off nor ripped apart, for it had, as it were, taken root on his head. Taking the needle out 
of his ear, he rammed it inside the fillet and started prying madly. Afraid that he might break the fillet with his prying, Tripitaka started 
his recitation again, and Pilgrim’s head began to hurt once more. It was so painful that he did cartwheels and somersaults. His face and 
even his ears turned red, his eyes bulged, and his body grew weak. When the master saw his appearance, he was moved to break off his 
recitation, and the pain stopped as before. “My head,” said Pilgrim, “the master has put a spell on it.” “I was just saying the Tight-Fillet 
Sutra,” said Tripitaka. “Since when did I put a spell on you?” “Recite it some more and see what happens,” said Pilgrim. Tripitaka 
accordingly began to recite, and the Pilgrim immediately started to hurt. “Stop! Stop!” he cried. “I hurt the moment you begin to recite. 
How do you explain that?” “Will you listen now to my instructions?” asked Tripitaka. “Yes, I will,” replied Pilgrim. “And never be 
unruly again?” “I dare not,” said Pilgrim. 

Although he said that with his mouth, Pilgrim’s mind was still devising evil. One wave of the needle and it had the thickness of a 
rice bowl; he aimed it at the Tang Monk and was about to slam it down on him. The priest was so startled that he went through the 
recitation two or three more times. Falling to the ground, the monkey threw away the iron rod and could not even raise his hands. 
“Master,” he said, “I’ve learned my lesson! Stop! Please stop!” “How dare you be so reckless,” said Tripitaka, “that you should want to 
strike me?” “I wouldn’t dare strike you,” said Pilgrim, “but let me ask you something. Who taught you this magic?” “It was an old 
woman,” said Tripitaka, “who imparted it to me a few moments ago.” Growing very angry, Pilgrim said, “You needn’t say anything 
more! The old woman had to be that Guanshiyin! Why did she want me to suffer like this? I’m going to South Sea to beat her up!” 

“If she had taught me this magic,” said Tripitaka, “she had to know it even before I did. If you go looking for her, and she starts her 
recitation, won’t you be dead?” Pilgrim saw the logic of this and dared not remove himself. Indeed, he had no alternative but to kneel 
in contrition and plead with Tripitaka, saying, “Master, this is her method of controlling me, allowing me no alternative but to follow 
you to the West. I’ll not go to bother her, but you must not regard this spell as a plaything for frequent recitation either! I’m willing to 
accompany you without ever entertaining the thought of leaving again.” “If that’s so,” said Tripitaka, “help me onto the horse and let’s 
get going.” At that point, Pilgrim gave up all thoughts of disobedience or rebellion. Eagerly he tugged at his silk shirt and went to 
gather the luggage together, and they headed again toward the West. 


At Serpent Coil Mountain, the gods give secret protection; 

At Eagle Grief Stream, the Horse of the Will is reined. 

We were telling you about Pilgrim, who ministered to the Tang Monk faithfully as they advanced toward the West. They traveled for 
several days under the frigid sky of midwinter; a cold wind blew fiercely, and slippery icicles hung everywhere. They traversed 

tortuous path of hanging gorges and cliffs, 
parlous range tiered with summits and peaks. 

As Tripitaka was riding along on his horse, his ears caught the distant sound of a torrent. He turned to ask: “Wukong, where is that 
sound coming from?” Pilgrim said, “The name of this place, I recall, is Serpent Coil Mountain, and there is an Eagle Grief Stream in it. 
I suppose that’s where it’s coming from.” Before they had finished their conversation, they arrived at the bank of the stream. Tripitaka 
reined in his horse and looked around. He saw 

bubbling cold stream piercing through the clouds, 

■ limpid current reddened by the sun. 

■ splatter in night rain stirs quiet vales; 

■■ colors glow at dawn to fill the air. 

ive after wave seems like flying chips ofjade, 
leir deep roar resonant as the clear wind, 
flows to join one vast stretch of smoke and tide, 
here gulls are lost with egrets but no fishers bide. 

Master and disciple were looking at the stream, when there was a loud splash in midstream and a dragon emerged. Churning the 
waters, it darted toward the bank and headed straight for the priest. Pilgrim was so startled that he threw away the luggage, hauled the 
master off his horse, and turned to flee with him at once. The dragon could not catch up with them, but it swallowed the white horse, 
harness and all, with one gulp before losing itself again in the water. Pilgrim carried his master to high ground and left the priest seated 
there; then he returned to fetch the horse and the luggage. The load of bags was still there, but the horse was nowhere to be seen. 
Placing the luggage in front of his master, he said, “Master, there’s not a trace of that cursed dragon, which has frightened away our 
horse.” “Disciple,” said Tripitaka, “how can we find the horse again?” “Relax! Relax!” said Pilgrim. “Let me go and have a look!” 

He whistled once and leaped up into the air. Shading his fiery eyes and diamond pupils with his hand, he peered in all four 
directions, but there was not the slightest trace of the horse. Dropping down from the clouds, he made his report, saying, “Master, our 
horse must have been eaten by that dragon. It’s nowhere to be seen!” “Disciple,” said Tripitaka, “how big a mouth does that creature 
have that he can swallow a horse, harness and all? It must have been frightened away instead, probably still running loose somewhere 
in the valley. Please take another look.” Pilgrim said, “You really have no conception of my ability. This pair of eyes of mine in 
daylight can discern good and evil within a thousand miles; at that distance, I can even see a dragonfly when it spreads its wings. How 
can I possibly miss something as big as a horse?” “If it has been eaten,” said Tripitaka, “how am I to proceed? Pity me! How can I 
walk through those thousand hills and ten thousand waters?” As he spoke, tears began to fall like rain. When Pilgrim saw him crying, 
he became infuriated and began to shout: “Master, stop behaving like a namby-pamby! Sit here! Just sit here! Let old Monkey find that 
creature and ask him to give us back our horse. That'll be the end of the matter.” Clutching at him, Tripitaka said, “Disciple, where do 
you have to go to find him? Wouldn’t I be hurt if he should appear from somewhere after you are gone? How would it be then if both 
man and horse should perish?” At these words, Pilgrim became even more enraged. “You’re a weakling! Truly a weakling!” he 
thundered. “You want a horse to ride on, and yet you won’t let me go. You want to sit here and grow old, watching our bags?” 

As he was yelling angrily like this, he heard someone calling out in midair: “Great Sage Sun, don’t be annoyed. And stop crying, 
Royal Brother of Tang. We are a band of deities sent by the Bodhisattva Guanyin to give secret protection to the scripture pilgrim.” 
Hearing this, the priest hastily bowed to the ground. “Which divinities are you?” asked Pilgrim. “Tell me your names, so that I can 
check you off the roll.” “We are the Six Gods of Darkness and the Six Gods of Light,” they said, “the Guardians of Five Points, the 
Four Sentinels, and the Eighteen Protectors of Monasteries. Every one of us waits upon you in rotation.” “Which one of you will begin 
today?” asked Pilgrim. “The Gods of Darkness and Light,” they said, “to be followed by the Sentinels and the Protectors. We 
Guardians of Five Points, with the exception of the Golden-Headed Guardian, will be here somewhere night and day.” “That being the 
case,” said Pilgrim, “those not on duty may retire, but the first Six Gods of Darkness, the Day Sentinel, and the Guardians should 
remain to protect my master. Let old Monkey go find that cursed dragon in the stream and ask him for our horse.” The various deities 
obeyed. Only then did Tripitaka feel somewhat relieved as he sat on the cliff and told Pilgrim to be careful. “Just don’t worry,” said 
Pilgrim. Dear Monkey King! He tightened the belt around his silk shirt, hitched up his tiger-skin kilt, and went straight toward the 
gorge of the stream holding the golden-hooped iron rod. Standing halfway between cloud and fog, he cried loudly on top of the water, 
“Lawless lizard! Return my horse! Return my horse!” 

We now tell you about the dragon, who, having eaten the white horse of Tripitaka, was lying on the bottom of the stream, subduing 
his spirit and nourishing his nature. When he heard someone demanding the horse with abusive language, however, he could not 
restrain the fire leaping up in his heart and he jumped up quickly. Churning the waves, he darted out of the water, saying, “Who dares 
to insult me here with his big mouth?” Pilgrim saw him and cried ferociously, “Don’t run away! Return my horse!” Wielding his rod, 
he aimed at the beast’s head and struck, while the dragon attacked with open jaws and dancing claws. The battle between the two of 
them before the stream was indeed fierce. You see 

ie dragon extending sharp daws: 
le monkey lifting his rod. 

ie whiskers of this one hung like white jade threads; 
ie eyes of that one shone like red-gold lamps, 
le mouth beneath the whiskers of that one belched colored mists: 
ie iron rod in the hands of this one moved like a fierce wind. 

tat one was a cursed son who brought his parents grief; 
lis one was a monster who defied the gods on high. 

)th had to suffer because of their plight. 

ley now want to win, so each displays his might. 

Back and forth, round and round, they fought for a long time, until the dragon grew weak and could fight no longer. He turned and 
darted back into the water; plunging to the bottom of the stream, he refused to come out again. The Monkey King heaped insult upon 
insult, but the dragon only pretended to be deaf. 

Pilgrim had little choice but to return to Tripitaka, saying, “Master, that monster made his appearance as a result of my tongue- 
lashing. He fought with me for a long time before taking fright and running. He’s hiding in the water now and refuses to come out 
again.” “Do you know for certain that it was he who ate my horse?” asked Tripitaka. “Listen to the way you talk!” said Pilgrim. “If he 
hadn’t eaten it, would he be willing to face me and answer me like that?” “The time you killed the tiger,” said Tripitaka, “you claimed 
that you had the ability to tame dragons and subdue tigers. Why can’t you subdue this one today?” As the monkey had a rather low 
tolerance for any kind of provocation, this single taunt of Tripitaka so aroused him that he said, “Not one word more! Let me go and 
show him who is master!” 

With great leaps, our Monkey King bounded right to the edge of the stream. Using his magic of overturning seas and rivers, he 
transformed the clear, limpid water of the Eagle Grief Stream into the muddy currents of the Yellow River during high tide. The cursed 
dragon in the depth of the stream could neither sit nor lie still for a single moment. He thought to himself: “Just as ‘Blessing never 
repeats itself, so misfortune never comes singly! ’ It has been barely a year since I escaped execution by Heaven and came to bide my 
time here, but now I have to run into this wretched monster who is trying to do me harm.” Look at him! The more he thought about the 
matter, the more irritated he became. Unable to bear it any longer, he gritted his teeth and leaped out of the water, crying, “What kind 
of monster are you, and where do you come from, that you want to oppress me like this?” “Never mind where I come from,” said 
Pilgrim. “Just return the horse, and I’ll spare your life.” “I’ve swallowed your horse into my stomach,” said the dragon, “so how am I 
to throw it up? What are you going to do if I can’t return it to you?” Pilgrim said, “If you don’t give back the horse, just watch for this 
rod. Only when your life becomes a payment for my horse will there be an end to this matter!” The two of them again waged a bitter 
struggle below the mountain ridge. After a few rounds, however, the little dragon just could not hold out any longer; shaking his body, 
he changed himself into a tiny water snake and wriggled into the marshes. 

The Monkey King came rushing up with his rod and parted the grass to look for the snake, but there was not a trace of it. He was so 
exasperated that the spirits of the Three Wonns in his body exploded 1 and smoke began to appear from his seven apertures. He recited 
a spell beginning with the letter om and summoned the local spirit and the mountain god of that region. The two of them knelt before 
him, saying, “The local spirit and the mountain god have come to see you.” 

“Stick out your shanks,” said Pilgrim, “and I’ll greet each of you with five strokes of my rod just to relieve my feelings.” 

“Great Sage,” they pleaded, “please be more lenient and allow your humble subjects to tell you something.” “What have you got to 
say?” said Pilgrim. “The Great Sage has been in captivity for a long time,” said the two deities, “and we had no knowledge of when 
you were released. That’s why we have not been here to receive you, and we beg you to pardon us.” “All right,” said Pilgrim, “I won’t 
hit you. But let me ask you something. Where did that monstrous dragon in the Eagle Grief Stream come from, and why did he devour 
my master’s white horse?” “We have never known the Great Sage to have a master,” the two deities said, “for you have always been a 
first-rank primordial immortal who submits neither to Heaven nor to Earth. What do you mean by your master’s horse?” Pilgrim said, 
“Of course you didn’t know about this. Because of my contemptuous behavior toward Heaven, I had to suffer for this five hundred 
years. I was converted by the kindly persuasion of Bodhisattva Guanyin, who had the true monk from the Tang court rescue me. As his 
disciple, I was to follow him to the Western Heaven to seek scriptures from Buddha. We passed through this place, and my master’s 
white horse was lost.” 

“So, that’s how it is!” said the two deities. “There has never been anything evil about this stream, except that it is both broad and 
deep, and its water is so clear that you can see right to the bottom. Large fowls such as crows or eagles are hesitant to fly over it; for 
when they see their own reflections in the clear water, they are prone to mistake them for other birds of their own flock and throw 
themselves into the stream. Hence the name, the Steep Eagle Grief Stream. Some years ago, on her way to look for a scripture pilgrim, 
Bodhisattva Guanyin rescued a dragon and sent him here. He was told to wait for the scripture pilgrim and was forbidden to do any 
evil or violence. Only when he is hungry is he pennitted to come up to the banks to feed on birds or antelopes. How could he be so 
ignorant as to offend the Great Sage!” 

Pilgrim said, “At first, he wanted to have a contest of strength with me and managed only a few bouts. Afterwards he would not 
come out even when I abused him. Only when I used the magic of overturning seas and rivers and stirred up the water did he appear 
again, and then he still wanted to fight. He really had no idea how heavy my rod was! When finally he couldn’t hold out any longer, he 
changed himself into a water snake and wriggled into the grass. I rushed up there to look for him, but there was no trace of him.” “You 
may not know, Great Sage,” said the local spirit, “that there are countless holes and crevices along these banks, through which the 
stream is connected with its many tributaries. The dragon could have crawled into any one of these. But there’s no need for the Great 
Sage to get angry trying to look for him. If you want to capture this creature, all you need do is to ask Guanshiyin to come here; then 
he’ll certainly surrender.” 

When Pilgrim heard this, he called the mountain god and the local spirit to go with him to see Tripitaka to give an account of what 
had happened. “If you need to send for the Bodhisattva,” said Tripitaka, “when will you be able to return? How can this poor monk 
endure the cold and hunger?” He had hardly finished speaking when the Golden-Headed Guardian called out from midair, “Great Sage, 
you needn’t leave. Your humble subject will go fetch the Bodhisattva.” Pilgrim was very pleased, shouting, “Thanks for taking all that 
trouble! Go quickly!” The Guardian mounted the clouds swiftly and headed straight for South Sea; Pilgrim asked the mountain god 
and the local spirit to protect his master and the Day Sentinel to find some vegetarian food, while he himself went back to patrol the 
stream, and we shall say no more of that. 

We now tell you about the Golden-Headed Guardian, who mounted the clouds and soon arrived at South Sea. Descending from the 
auspicious light, he went straight to the purple bamboo grove of the Potalaka Mountain, where he asked the various deities in golden 

armor and Moksa to announce his arrival. The Bodhisattva said, “What have you come for?” “The Tang Monk lost his horse at the 
Eagle Grief Stream of the Serpent Coil Mountain,” said the Guardian, “and the Great Sage Sun was placed in a terrible dilemma. He 
questioned the local deities, who claimed that a dragon sent by the Bodhisattva to that stream had eaten it. The Great Sage, therefore, 
sent me to request the Bodhisattva to go and subdue that cursed dragon, so that he might get back his horse.” Hearing this, the 
Bodhisattva said, “That creature was originally the son of Aorun of the Western Ocean. Because in his carelessness he set fire to the 
palace and destroyed the luminous pearls hanging there, his father accused him of subversion, and he was condemned to die by the 
Heavenly Tribunal. It was I who personally sought pardon from the Jade Emperor for him, so that he might serve as a means of 
transportation for the Tang Monk. I can’t understand how he could swallow the monk’s horse instead. But if that’s what happened, I’ll 
have to get over there myself.” The Bodhisattva left her lotus platform and went out of the divine cave. Mounting the auspicious 
luminosity with the Guardian, she crossed the South Sea. We have a testimonial poem that says: 

tddha proclaimed the Tripitaka Supreme 

hich the Goddess declared throughout Chang 'an: 

lose great, wondrous truths could reach Heaven and Earth; 

lose wise, true words could save the spirits damned. 

ley caused Gold Cicada to cast again his shell. 

ley moved Xuanzang to mend his ways anew. 

> blocking his path at Eagle Grief Stream, 
dragon-prince in horse-form returns to the Real. 

The Bodhisattva and the Guardian soon arrived at the Serpent Coil Mountain. They stopped the hallowed clouds in midair and saw 
Pilgrim Sun down below, shouting abuses at the bank of the stream. The Bodhisattva asked the Guardian to fetch him. Lowering his 
clouds, the Guardian went past Tripitaka and headed straight for the edge of the stream, saying to Pilgrim, “The Bodhisattva has 
arrived.” When Pilgrim heard this, he jumped quickly into the air and yelled at her: “You, so-called Teacher of the Seven Buddhas and 
the Founder of the Faith of Mercy! Why did you have to use your tricks to harm me?” 

“You impudent stableman, ignorant red-buttocks!” said the Bodhisattva. “I went to considerable effort to find a scripture pilgrim, 
whom I carefully instructed to save your life. Instead of thanking me, you are finding fault with me!” “You saved me all right!” said 
Pilgrim. “If you truly wanted to deliver me, you should have allowed me to have a little fun with no strings attached. When you met 
me the other day above the ocean, you could have chastened me with a few words, telling me to serve the Tang Monk with diligence, 
and that would have been enough. Why did you have to give him a flower cap, and have him deceive me into wearing it so that I 
would suffer? Now the fillet has taken root on old Monkey’s head. And you even taught him this so-called ‘Tight-Fillet Spell,’ which 
he recites again and again, causing endless pain in my head! You haven’t harmed me, indeed!” The Bodhisattva laughed and said, “O, 
Monkey! You are neither attentive to admonition nor willing to seek the fruit of truth. If you are not restrained like this, you’ll probably 
mock the authority of Heaven again without regard for good or ill. If you create troubles as you did before, who will be able to control 
you? It’s only through this bit of adversity that you will be willing to enter our gate of Yoga.” 

“All right,” said Pilgrim, “I’ll consider the matter my hard luck. But why did you take that condemned dragon and send him here so 
that he could become a spirit and swallow my master’s horse? It’s your fault, you know, if you allow an evildoer to perpetrate his 
villainies some more!” “I went personally to plead with the Jade Emperor,” said the Bodhisattva, “to have the dragon stationed here so 
that he could serve as a means of transportation for the scripture pilgrim. Those mortal horses from the Land of the East, do you think 
that they could walk through ten thousand waters and a thousand hills? How could they possibly hope to reach the Spirit Mountain, the 
land of Buddha? Only a dragon-horse could make that journey!” “But right now he’s so terribly afraid of me,” said Pilgrim, “that he 
refuses to come out of his hiding place. What can we do?” The Bodhisattva said to the Guardian, “Go to the edge of the stream and say, 
‘Come out, Third Prince Jade Dragon of the Dragon King Aorun. The Bodhisattva from South Sea is here.’ He’ll come out then.” 

The Guardian went at once to the edge of the stream and called out twice. Churning the waters and leaping across the waves, the 
little dragon appeared and changed at once into the form of a man. He stepped on the clouds and rose up into the air; saluting the 
Bodhisattva, he said, “I thank the Bodhisattva again for saving my life. I’ve waited here a long time, but I’ve heard no news of the 
scripture pilgrim.” Pointing to Pilgrim, the Bodhisattva said, “Isn’t he the eldest disciple of the scripture pilgrim?” When he saw him, 
the little dragon said, “Bodhisattva, he’s my adversary. I was hungry yesterday and ate his horse. We fought over that, but he took 
advantage of his superior strength and defeated me; in fact, he so abused me that I dared not show myself again. But he has never 
mentioned a word about scripture seeking.” 

“You didn’t bother to ask my name,” said Pilgrim. “How did you expect me to tell you anything?” The little dragon said, “Didn’t I 
ask you, ‘What kind of a monster are you and where do you come from?’ But all you did was shout, ‘Never mind where I come from; 
just return my horse!’ Since when did you utter even half the word ‘Tang’?” “That monkey,” said the Bodhisattva, “is always relying 
on his own abilities! When has he ever given any credit to other people? When you set off this time, remember that there are others 
who will join you. So when they ask you, by all means mention first the matter of scripture seeking; they will submit to you without 
causing you further trouble.” 

Pilgrim received this word of counsel amiably. The Bodhisattva went up to the little dragon and plucked off the shining pearls 
hanging around his neck. She then dipped her willow branch into the sweet dew in her vase and sprinkled it all over his body; blowing 
a mouthful of magic breath on him, she cried, “Change!” The dragon at once changed into a horse with hair of exactly the same color 
and quality as that of the horse he had swallowed. The Bodhisattva then told him, “You must overcome with utmost diligence all the 
cursed barriers. When your merit is achieved, you will no longer be an ordinary dragon; you will acquire the true fruit of a golden 
body.” Holding the bit in his mouth, the little dragon humbly accepted the instruction. The Bodhisattva told Wukong to lead him to 
Tripitaka, saying, “I’m returning across the ocean.” 

Pilgrim took hold of her and refused to let go, saying, “I’m not going on! I’m not going on! The road to the West is so treacherous! 
If I have to accompany this mortal monk, when will I ever get there? If I have to endure all these miseries, I may well lose my life. 
What sort of merit do you think I’ll achieve? I’m not going! I’m not going!” 

“In years past, before you reached the way of humanity,” said the Bodhisattva, “you were most eager to seek enlightenment. Now 
that you have been delivered from the chastisement of Heaven, how could you become slothful again? The truth of Nirvana in our 

teaching can never be realized without faith and perseverance. If on your journey you should come across any danger that threatens 
your life, I give you permission to call on Heaven, and Heaven will respond; to call on Earth, and Earth will prove efficacious. In the 
event of extreme difficulty, I myself will come to rescue you. Come closer, and I shall endow you with one more means of power.” 
Plucking three leaves from her willow branch, the Bodhisattva placed them at the back of Pilgrim’s head, crying, “Change!” They 
changed at once into three hairs with lifesaving power. She said to him: “When you find yourself in a helpless and hopeless situation, 
you may use these according to your needs, and they will deliver you from your particular affliction.” After Pilgrim had heard all these 
kind words, he thanked the Bodhisattva of Great Mercy and Compassion. With scented wind and colored mists swirling around her, the 
Bodhisattva returned to Potalaka. 

Lowering the direction of his cloud. Pilgrim tugged at the mane of the horse and led him to Tripitaka, saying, “Master, we have a 
horse!” Highly pleased by what he saw, Tripitaka said, “Disciple, how is it that the horse has grown a little fatter and stronger than 
before? Where did you find him?” “Master, you are still dreaming!” said Pilgrim. “Just now the Golden-Headed Guardian managed to 
bring the Bodhisattva here, and she transformed the dragon of the stream into our white horse. Except for the missing harness, the 
color and hair are all the same, and old Monkey has pulled him here.” “Where is the Bodhisattva?” asked Tripitaka, greatly surprised. 
“Let me go and thank her.” “By this time,” said Pilgrim, “the Bodhisattva has probably arrived at South Sea; there’s no need to bother 
about that.” Picking up a few pinches of earth with his fingers and scattering them like incense, Tripitaka bowed reverently toward the 
South. He then got up and prepared to leave again with Pilgrim. 

Having dismissed the mountain god and the local spirit and given instructions to the Guardians and the Sentinels, Pilgrim asked his 
master to mount. Tripitaka said, “How can I ride a horse without harness? Let’s find a boat to cross this stream, and then we can decide 
what to do.” “This master of mine is truly impractical!” said Pilgrim. “In the wilds of this mountain, where will you find a boat? Since 
the horse has lived here for a long time, he must know the water’s condition. Just ride him like a boat and we'll cross over.” Tripitaka 
had no choice but to follow his suggestion and climbed onto the barebacked horse; Pilgrim took up the luggage and they arrived at the 
edge of the stream. Then they saw an old fisherman punting downstream toward them in an old wooden raft. When Pilgrim caught 
sight of him, he waved his hands and called out: “Old fisherman, come here! Come here! We come from the Land of the East to seek 
scriptures. It’s difficult for my master to cross, so please take us over.” Hearing these words, the fisherman quickly punted the raft up to 
the bank. Asking his master to dismount. Pilgrim helped Tripitaka onto the raft before he embarked the horse and the luggage. That old 
fisher punted the raft away, and like an arrow in the wind, they crossed the steep Eagle Grief Stream swiftly and landed on the western 
shore. Tripitaka told Pilgrim to untie a bag and take out a few Tang pennies to give to the old fisherman. With a shove of his pole, the 
old fisherman pulled away, saying, “I don’t want any money.” He drifted downstream and soon disappeared from sight. Feeling very 
much obliged, Tripitaka kept folding his hands to express his gratitude. “Master,” said Pilgrim, “you needn’t be so solicitous. Don’t 
you recognize him? He is the Water God of this stream. Since he didn’t come to pay his respects to old Monkey, he was about to get a 
beating. It’s enough that he is now spared from that. Would he dare take any money!” The Master only half-believed him when he 
climbed onto the barebacked horse once again; following Pilgrim, he went up to the main road and set off again toward the West. It 
would be like this that they 

trough the vast Thusnesp reach the other shore, 
id climb with hearts unfeigned the Spirit Mount. 

Master and disciple journeyed on, and soon the fiery sun sank westward as the sky gradually darkened. You see 

ouds hazy and aimless, 

mountain moon dim and gloomy. 

le sky, all frosty, builds the cold; 

owling wind around cuts through you. 

ne bird is lost midst the pale, wide sandbars, 

: twilight glows where the distant hills are low. 
thousand trees roar in sparse woods; 
ne ape cries on a barren peak. 

) traveler is seen on this long road 
hen boats from afar return for the night. 

As Tripitaka, riding his horse, peered into the distance, he suddenly saw something like a hamlet beside the road. “Wukong,” he said, 
“there’s a house ahead of us. Let’s ask for lodging there and travel again tomorrow.” Raising his head to take a look, Pilgrim said, 
“Master, it’s no ordinary house.” “Why not?” said Tripitaka. “If it were an ordinary house,” said Pilgrim, “there would be no flying 
fishes or reclining beasts decorating the ridge of its roof. That must be a temple or an abbey.” While they were speaking, master and 
disciple arrived at the gate of the building. Dismounting, Tripitaka saw on top of the gate three large characters: Lishe Shrine. They 
walked inside, where they were met by an old man with some beads hanging around his neck. He came forward with hands folded, 
saying, “Master, please take a seat.” Tripitaka hastily returned his salutation and then went to the main hall to bow to the holy images. 
The old man called a youth to serve tea, after which Tripitaka asked him, “Why is this shrine named Lishe?” 

The old man said, “This region belongs to the Hamil Kingdom of the western barbarians. There is a village behind the shrine, which 
was built from the piety of all its families. The ‘Li’ refers to the land owned by the whole village, and the ‘She’ is the God of the Soil. 
During the days of spring sowing, summer plowing, autumn harvesting, and winter storing, each of the families would bring the three 
beasts/’ flowers, and fruits to sacrifice at the shrine, so that they might be blessed with good luck in all four seasons, a rich harvest of 
the five grains, and prosperity in raising the six domestic creatures .” 4 When Tripitaka heard these words, he nodded his head to show 
his approval, saying, “This is truly like the proverb: ‘Even three miles from home there are customs entirely distinct.’ The families in 
our region do not practice such good works.” Then the old man asked, “Where is the honorable home of the master?” “Your poor 
monk,” said Tripitaka, “happens to have been sent by the royal decree from the Great Tang Nation in the East to go to seek scriptures 
from Buddha in the Western Heaven. It was getting rather late when I passed your esteemed edifice. I therefore came to your holy 
shrine to ask for a night’s lodging. I'll leave as soon as it gets light.” The old man was delighted and kept saying, “Welcome! 
Welcome!” He called the youth again to prepare a meal, which Tripitaka ate with gratitude. 

As usual, Pilgrim was extremely observant. Noticing a rope for hanging laundry tied under the eaves, he walked over to it and pulled 

at it until it snapped in two. He then used the piece of rope to tie up the horse. “Where did you steal this horse?” asked the old man, 
laughing. “Old man,” said Pilgrim angrily, “watch what you are saying! We are holy monks going to worship Buddha. How could we 
steal horses?” “If you didn’t steal it,” laughed the old man, “why is there no saddle or rein, so that you have to rip up my clothesline?” 

“This rascal is always so impulsive,” said Tripitaka apologetically. “If you wanted to tie up the horse, why didn’t you ask the old 
gentleman properly for a rope? Why did you have to rip up his clothesline? Sir, please don’t be angry! Our horse, to tell you the truth, 
is not a stolen one. When we approached the Eagle Grief Stream yesterday from the east, I had a white horse complete with harness. 
Little did we anticipate that there was a condemned dragon in the stream who had become a spirit, and who swallowed my horse in one 
gulp, harness and all. Fortunately, my disciple has some talents, and he was able to bring the Bodhisattva Guanyin to the stream to 
subdue the dragon. She told him to assume the form of my original white horse, so that he could carry me to worship Buddha in the 
Western Heaven. It has barely been one day since we crossed the stream and arrived at your holy shrine. We haven’t had time to look 
for a harness.” 

“Master, you needn’t worry,” said the old man. “An old man like me loves to tease, but I had no idea your esteemed disciple was so 
serious about everything! When I was young, I had a little money, and I, too, loved to ride. But over the years I had my share of 
misfortunes: deaths in the family and fires in the household have not left me much. Thus I am reduced to being a caretaker here in the 
shrine, looking after the fires and incense, and dependent on the goodwill of the patrons in the village back there for a living. I still 
have in my possession a harness that I have always cherished, and that even in this poverty I couldn’t bear to sell. But since hearing 
your story, how even the Bodhisattva delivered the divine dragon and made him change into a horse to carry you, I feel that I must not 
withhold from giving either. I shall bring the harness tomorrow and present it to the master, who, I hope, will be pleased to accept it.” 
When Tripitaka heard this, he thanked him repeatedly. Before long, the youth brought in the evening meal, after which lamps were lit 
and the beds prepared. Everyone then retired. 

Next morning, Pilgrim arose and said, “Master, that old caretaker promised last night to give us the harness. Ask him for it. Don’t 
spare him.” He had hardly finished speaking when the old man came in with a saddle, together with pads, reins, and the like. Not a 
single item needed for riding a horse was lacking. He set them down in the corridor, saying, “Master, I am presenting you with this 
harness.” When Tripitaka saw it, he accepted it with delight and asked Pilgrim to try the saddle on the horse. Going forward, Pilgrim 
took up the accoutrements and examined them piece by piece. They were indeed some magnificent articles, for which we have a 
testimonial poem. The poem says: 

ie carved saddle shines with studs of silver stars, 
le precious seat glows with bright threads of gold, 
ie pads are stacks of fine-spun woolen quilts, 
le reins are three bands ofpurple cords of silk, 
ie bridle's leather straps are shaped like flowers, 
le flaps have gold-etched forms of dancing beasts, 
ie rings and bit are made of finest steel. 

•xterproof tassels dangle on both sides. 

Secretly pleased, Pilgrim put the saddle on the back of the horse, and it seemed to have been made to measure. Tripitaka bowed to 
thank the old man, who hastily raised him up, saying, “It’s nothing! What do you need to thank me for?” The old man did not ask them 
to stay any longer; instead, he urged Tripitaka to mount. The priest came out of the gate and climbed into the saddle, while Pilgrim 
followed, hauling the luggage. The old man then took a whip out from his sleeve, with a handle of rattan wrapped in strips of leather, 
and the strap knitted with cords made of tiger ligaments. He stood by the side of the road and presented it with hands uplifted, saying, 
“Holy Monk, I have a whip here that I may as well give you.” Tripitaka accepted it on his horse, saying, “Thanks for your donation! 
Thanks for your donation!” 

Even as he was saying this, the old man vanished. The priest turned around to look at the Lishe Shrine, but it had become just a 
piece of level ground. From the sky came a voice saying, “Holy Monk, I’m sorry not to have given you a better reception! I am the 
local spirit of Potalaka Mountain, who was sent by the Bodhisattva to present you with the harness. You two must journey to the West 
with all diligence. Do not be slothful in any moment.” Tripitaka was so startled that he fell off his horse and bowed toward the sky, 
saying, “Your disciple is of fleshly eyes and mortal stock, and he does not recognize the holy visage of the deity. Please forgive me. I 
beseech you to convey my gratitude to the Bodhisattva.” Look at him! All he could do was to kowtow toward the sky without 
bothering to count how many times! By the side of the road the Great Sage Sun reeled with laughter, the Handsome Monkey King 
broke up with hilarity. He came up and tugged at his master, saying, “Master, get up! He is long gone! He can’t hear you, nor can he 
see your kowtowing. Why keep up this adoration?” “Disciple,” said the priest, “when I kowtowed like that, all you could do was to 
stand snickering by the side of the road, with not even a bow. Why?” “You wouldn’t know, would you?” said Pilgrim. “For playing a 
game of hide-and-seek like that with us, he really deserves a beating! But for the sake of the Bodhisattva, I’ll spare him, and that’s 
something already! You think he dares accept a bow from old Monkey? Old Monkey has been a hero since his youth, and he doesn’t 
know how to bow to people! Even when I saw the Jade Emperor and Laozi, I just gave them my greeting, that’s all!” “Blasphemy!” 
said Tripitaka. “Stop this idle talk! Let’s get going without further delay.” So the priest got up and prepared to set off again toward the 

After leaving that place, they had a peaceful journey for two months, for all they met were barbarians, Muslims, tigers, wolves, and 
leopards. Time went by swiftly, and it was again early spring. You could see jade green gilding the mountain forest, and green sprouts 
of grass appearing. The plum blossoms were all fallen and the willow-leaves gently budding. As master and disciple were admiring 
this scenery of spring, they saw the sun sinking westward again. Reining the horse, Tripitaka peered into the distance and saw at the 
fold of the hill the shadow of buildings and the dark silhouette of towers. “Wukong,” said Tripitaka, “look at the buildings over there. 
What sort of a place is that?” Stretching his neck to look. Pilgrim said, “It has to be either a temple or a monastery. Let’s move along 
and ask for lodging over there.” Tripitaka was glad to follow this suggestion and urged his dragon-horse forward. 


At Guanyin Hall the monks plot for the treasure; 

At Black Wind Mountain a monster steals the cassock. 

We were telling you about the disciple and master, who urged the horse forward and arrived at the front gate of the building. They saw 
that it was indeed a monastery with 

ers of towers and turrets, 
id rows of quiet chambers, 
wve the temple gate 

•mg the august panoply of colored nimbus; 
fore the Hall of Five Blessings 
hirled a thousand strands of bright red mists, 
vo rows of pines and bamboos; 

•ie grove of juniper and cypress; 

vo rows of pines and bamboos 

wealed their fair virtue unspoiled by time; 

•ie grove of juniper and cypress 
•splayed its chaste beauty in comely hues, 
tey saw also the tall bell tower, 
ie pagoda rugged, 
onks in silent meditation 
id birds on trees gently cooing, 
dustless seclusion was the real seclusion, 
ir the quiescence of Dao was truly quiescent. 

The poem says: 

i is temple, like Jetavana, hides in a jade-green grove. 

! beauty surpasses even the Sad-varsa. ^ 
ire land among mankind is rare indeed: 
lis world’s famed mountains are mostly held by monks. 

The priest dismounted, and Pilgrim laid down his load. They were about to walk through the gate when a monk came out. “How does 
he look?” you ask. 

? wore a hat pinned to the left 
id a robe most spotlessly pure, 
vo brass rings hung from his ears; 
silk sash was wrapped round his waist. 

Is straw sandals moved sedately; 

Is hands carried a wooden fish. 

Is mouth recited constantly 
ie Wisdom he sought most humbly. 

When Tripitaka saw him, he stood waiting by the gate and saluted with his palms pressed together in front of him. The monk 
returned the greeting at once and said laughing, “I’m sorry, but I don’t know you!” He then asked, “Where do you come from? Please 
come in for some tea.” “Your disciple,” said Tripitaka, “has been sent by royal decree from the Land of the East to go to seek scriptures 
from Buddha in the Temple of Thunderclap, it was getting late when we arrived here, and we would like to ask for a night’s lodging in 
your fair temple.” “Please take a seat inside,” said the monk. Only then did Tripitaka call Pilgrim to lead the horse inside. When the 
monk caught sight of Pilgrim’s face, he became somewhat afraid and asked, “What’s that thing leading the horse?” “Speak softly!” 
said Tripitaka. “He’s easily provoked! If he hears you referring to him as a thing, he’ll get mad. He happens to be my disciple.” With a 
shiver, the monk bit his finger and said, “Such a hideous creature, and you made him your disciple!” Tripitaka said, “You can’t tell by 
mere appearance. He may be ugly, but he is very useful.” 

That monk had little choice but to accompany Tripitaka and Pilgrim as they entered the temple gate. Inside, above the main hall’s 
entrance, the words “Guanyin Chan Hall” were written in large letters. Highly pleased, Tripitaka said, “This disciple has repeatedly 
benefited from the holy grace of the Bodhisattva, though he has had no opportunity to thank her. Now that we are at this Chan hall, it is 
as if we are meeting the Bodhisattva personally, and it is most proper that 1 should offer my thanks.” When the monk heard this, he told 
one of the attendants to open wide the door of the hall and invited Tripitaka to worship. Pilgrim tied up the horse, dropped his luggage, 
and went with Tripitaka up the hall. Stretching his back and then flattening himself on the ground, Tripitaka kowtowed to the golden 
image as the monk went to beat the drum, and Pilgrim began to strike the bell. Prostrating himself before the seat of the deity, Tripitaka 
poured out his heart in prayer. When he finished, the monk stopped the drum, but Pilgrim continued to strike the bell without ceasing. 
Now rapidly, now slowly, he persisted for a long time. The attendant said, "The service is over. Why are you still striking the bell?” 
Only then did Pilgrim throw away the hammer and say, laughing, “You wouldn’t know this! I’m just living by the proverb: ‘If you are 
a monk for a day, strike then the bell for a day! ’ ” 2 

By then, the monks young and old of the monastery and the elders of upper and lower chambers were all aroused by the unruly 
sound of the bell. They rushed out together crying, “Who is the maniac fooling with the bell?” Pilgrim leaped out of the hall and 
shouted, “Your Grandpa Sun sounded it to amuse himself!” The moment the monks saw hint, they were so frightened that they 
tumbled and rolled on the ground. Crawling around, they said, “Father Thunder!” “He’s only my great-grandson!” said Pilgrim. “Get 
up, get up! Don’t be afraid. We are noble priests who have come from the Great Tang Nation in the east.” The various monks then 
bowed courteously to him, and when they saw Tripitaka, they were even more reassured. One of the monks, who was the abbot of the 
monastery, said, “Let the holy fathers come to the living room in the back so that we may offer them some tea.” Untying the reins and 
leading the horse, they picked up the luggage and went past the main hall to the back of the monastery, where they sat down in orderly 

After serving tea, the abbot prepared a vegetarian meal, although it was still rather early for dinner. Tripitaka had not finished 

thanking him when an old monk emerged from the rear, supported by two boys. Look how he was attired: 

z wore on his head a Vairocana hat 

pped by a precious, shining cat ’s-eye stone; 

z wore on his body a brocaded woolen frock, 

ped brilliantly in gold and kingfisher feathers. 

pair of monk shoes on which Eight Treasures were set, 

id a priestly staff encased with starry gems. 

Is face full of wrinkles, 
z looked like the Old Witch of Li Mountain; 
is eyes were dim-sighted, 

tough he seemed a Dragon King of the Eastern Ocean, 
ind stabbed his mouth for his teeth had fallen, 
id palsy had made crooked his aged back. 

The various monks made the announcement: “The Patriarch is here.” Tripitaka bowed to receive him, saying, “Old Abbot, your 
disciple bows to you.” The old monk returned the gesture, and they were both seated. “Just now I heard the little ones announcing,” 
said the old monk, “that venerable fathers from the Tang court have arrived from the east. I came out specifically to meet you.” 
“Without knowing any better,” said Tripitaka, “we intruded into your esteemed temple. Please pardon us!” “Please, please!” said the 
old monk. “May I ask the holy father what the distance is between here and the Land of the East?” “Since leaving the outskirts of 
Chang’an,” said Tripitaka, “I traveled for some five thousand miles before passing the Mountain of Two Frontiers, where I picked up a 
little disciple. Moving on, we passed through the Hamil Kingdom of the western barbarians, and in two months we had traveled 
another five or six thousand miles. Only then did we arrive at your noble region.” “Well, you have covered the distance of ten thousand 
miles,” said the old monk. “This disciple truly has spent his life in vain, for he has not even left the door of the temple. I have, as the 
saying goes, ‘sat in the well to look at the sky.’ A veritable piece of dead wood!” 

Then Tripitaka asked, “What is the honorable age of the Old Abbot?” “Foolishly I have reached my two hundred and seventieth 
year,” said the old monk. When Pilgrim heard this, he said, “You are only my descendant of the ten-thousandth generation!” “Careful!” 
said Tripitaka, looking at him sternly. “Don’t offend people with your brashness!” “And you, Elder,” asked the old monk, “how old are 
you?” “I dare not tell,” said Pilgrim. That old monk thought it was just a foolish remark; he paid no further attention, nor did he ask 
again. Instead, he called for tea to be served, and a young cleric brought out a tray made of milk-white jade on which there were three 
cloisonne cups with gold edges. Another youth brought out a white copper pot and poured three cups of scented tea, truly more 
colorful than camellia buds and more fragrant than cassia flowers. When Tripitaka saw these, he could not cease making compliments, 
saying, “What marvelous things! What marvelous things! A lovely drink, indeed, and lovely utensils!” “Most disgraceful stuff!” said 
the old monk. “The holy father resides in the heavenly court of a great nation, and he has witnessed all kinds of rare treasures. Things 
like these are not worthy of your praise. Since you have come from a noble state, do you have any precious thing you can show me?” 
“It’s pathetic!” said Tripitaka. “We have no precious thing in the Land of the East; and even if we had, I could not bring it with me 
because of the distance.” 

From the side. Pilgrim said, “Master, I saw a cassock the other day in our bag. Isn't that a treasure? Why not take it out and show it 
to him?” When the other monks heard him mentioning a cassock, they all began to snicker. “What are you laughing at?” asked Pilgrim. 
The abbot said, “To say that a cassock is a treasure, as you just did, is certainly laughable. If you want to talk about cassocks, priests 
like us would possess more than twenty or thirty such garments. Take the case of our Patriarch, who has been a monk here for some 
two hundred and fifty years. He has over seven hundred of them!” He then made the suggestion: “Why not take them out for these 
people to see?” That old monk certainly thought it was his show this time! He asked the attendants to open up the storage room and the 
dhutas to bring out the chests. They brought out twelve of them and set them down in the courtyard. The padlocks were unlocked; 
clothes racks were set up on both sides, and ropes were strung all around. One by one, the cassocks were shaken loose and hung up for 
Tripitaka to see. It was truly a roomful of embroidery, four walls of exquisite silk! 

Glancing at them one by one, Pilgrim saw that they were all pieces of fine silk intricately woven and delicately embroidered, 
splashed with gold. He laughed and said, “Fine! Fine! Fine! Now pack them up! Let’s take ours out for you to look at.” Pulling Pilgrim 
aside, Tripitaka said softly, “Disciple, don’t start a contest of wealth with other people. You and I are strangers away from home, and 
this may be a mistake!” “Just a look at the cassock,” said Pilgrim, “how can that be a mistake?” “You haven’t considered this,” said 
Tripitaka. “As the ancients declared, ‘The rare object of art should not be exposed to the covetous and deceitful person.’ For once he 
sees it, he will be tempted; and once he is tempted, he will plot and scheme. If you are timid, you may end up yielding to his every 
demand; otherwise, injury and loss of life may result, and that’s no small matter.” “Relax! Relax!” said Pilgrim. “Old Monkey will 
assume all responsibility!” Look at him! He did not permit any further discussion! Darting away, he untied the bag, and brilliant rays at 
once came flashing through the two layers of oil-paper in which the garment was wrapped. He discarded the paper and took out the 
cassock. As he shook it loose, a crimson light flooded the room and glorious air filled the courtyard. When the various monks saw it, 
none could suppress the admiration in his heart and the praise on his lips. It was truly a magnificent cassock! It has hanging on it 

larkling pearls—marvelous in every way — 
id Buddha’s treasures in each aspect rare. 

•} and down spreads grapevine 3 weave on gorgeous silk; 
n every side are hems of fine brocade, 
it it on, and goblins will then be slain, 
ep in it, and demons will flee to Hell. 
s made by those hands of gods incarnate; 
z who's not a true monk dares not wear it. 

When the old monk saw a treasure of such quality, he was indeed moved to villainy. Walking forward, he knelt down before 
Tripitaka, and tears began to fall from his eyes. “This disciple truly has no luck,” he said. “Old Abbot,” said Tripitaka, raising him up, 
“what do you mean?” “It was already getting late,” he said, “when the venerable father spread this treasure out. But my eyes are dim 
and I can’t see clearly. Isn’t this my misfortune?” “Bring out the lamps,” said Tripitaka, “and you can take a better look.” The old 
monk said, “The treasure of the father is already dazzling; if we light the lamps, it will become much too bright for my eyes, and I’ll 

never be able to see it properly.” “How would you like to see it?” asked Pilgrim. “If the venerable father is inclined to be gracious,” 
replied the old monk, “please permit me to take it back to my room, where I can spend the night looking at it carefully. Tomorrow I 
shall return it to you before you continue your journey to the west. How would that be?” Startled, Tripitaka began to complain to 
Pilgrim, saying, “It’s all your doing! It’s all your doing!” “What are you afraid of?” said Pilgrim, laughing. “Let me wrap it up and he 
can take it away. If there’s any mishap, old Monkey will take care of it.” Tripitaka could not stop him; he handed the cassock over to 
the monk, saying, “You may look at it, but you must give it back tomorrow morning, just as it is. Don’t spoil or damage it in any way!” 
The old monk was very pleased. After telling the young cleric to take the cassock inside, he gave instructions for the various monks to 
sweep out the Chan hall in front. Two rattan beds were sent for and the bedding was prepared, so that the two travelers could rest. He 
gave further instructions for sending them off with breakfast in the morning, after which everyone left. Master and disciple closed up 
the hall and slept, and we shall say no more of that. 

We shall now tell you about the old monk, who had got hold of the cassock by fraud. He took it beneath the lamps in the back room 
and sat in front of it, bawling. The chief priest of the monastery was so startled that he dared not retire first. The young cleric, not 
knowing the reason for the weeping, went to report to the other monks, saying, “The aged father has been crying, and it’s now the 
second watch and he still hasn’t stopped.” Two grand disciples, who were his favorites, went forward to ask him, “Grand master, why 
are you crying?” “I’m crying over my ill luck,” replied the old monk, “for I cannot look at the treasure of the Tang Monk.” One of the 
little monks said, “The aged father is becoming a little senile! The cassock is placed right before you. All you have to do is to untie the 
package and look at it. Why do you have to cry?” “But I can’t look at it for long,” said the old monk. “I’m two hundred and seventy 
years old, and yet I have bargained in vain for those several hundred cassocks. What must I do to acquire that one cassock of his? How 
can I become the Tang Monk himself?” “The grand master is erring,” said the little monk. “The Tang Monk is a mendicant who had to 
leave his home and country. You are enjoying the benefits of old age here, and that should be sufficient. Why do you want to be a 
mendicant like him?” The old monk said, “Though I'm relaxing at home and enjoying my declining years, I have no cassock like his to 
put on. If I can put it on for just one day. I’ll die with my eyes shut, for then I shall not have been a monk in vain in this World of 
Light.” “What nonsense!” said another monk. “If you want to put it on, what’s so difficult about that? Tomorrow we will ask them to 
stay for one more day, and you can wear it the whole day; if that’s not enough, we’ll detain them for ten days so that you can wear the 
cassock all that time. That will be the end of the matter. Why do you have to cry like this?” “Even if they were to be detained for a 
whole year,” said the old monk, “I would only be able to wear it for one year. That’s not long-lasting! The moment they want to leave, 
we will have to return it. How can we make it last?” 

As they were speaking, one of the little monks, whose name was Great Wisdom, spoke up: “Aged Father, if you want it to last, that’s 
easy too!” When the old monk heard that, he brightened up. “My son,” he said, “what profound thoughts do you have?” Great Wisdom 
said, “The Tang Monk and his disciple are travelers and are subjected to a lot of stress and strain. So they are fast asleep now. I suppose 
a few of us who are strong could take up knives and spears, break open the Chan hall, and kill them. We could bury them in the 
backyard, and only those of us within the family would know about it. We could also take over the white horse and the luggage, but the 
cassock could be kept as an heirloom. Now isn’t this a plan made to last through posterity?” When the old monk heard this, he was 
filled with delight. Wiping away his tears, he said, “Good! Good! Good! This plan is absolutely marvelous!” He asked at once for 
knives and spears. 

There was in their midst another little monk, whose name was Big Plan, who was the younger classmate of Great Wisdom. Coming 
forward, he said, “That plan is no good! If you want to kill them, you must first assess the situation. It’s easy to take care of the one 
with the white face, but the hairy face presents more difficulty. If for some reason you are unable to slay him, you might bring disaster 
upon yourselves. I have a plan that does not call for knives or spears. How do you feel about this?” “My son,” said the old monk, 
“what sort of plan do you have?” “In the opinion of your little grandson,” said Big Plan, “we can call up all the resident heads, both 
senior and junior, in the eastern wing of this monastery, asking each person and his group to bring a bundle of dried firewood. We’ll 
sacrifice the three rooms of the Chan hall and set fire to them; the people inside will be barred from all exits. Even the horse will be 
burned with them! If the families who live in front of the temple or behind it should see the fire, we can say that they caused it by their 
carelessness and burned down our Chan hall. Those two monks will surely be burned to death, but no one will know any better. After 
that, won’t we have the cassock as our heirloom?” When the monks heard this, they were all delighted. “Better! Better! Better! This 
plan is even more marvelous! More marvelous!” they all said. They sent for the resident heads at once to bring firewood. Alas, this 
single plan will have the result of 

venerable old monk ending his life, 
id the Guanyin Chan Hall reduced to dust. 

That monastery, you see, had over seventy suites and some two hundred monks resided there. Hordes of them went to fetch firewood, 
which they stacked around the Chan hall until it was completely surrounded. They then made plans to light the fire, but we shall say no 
more of that. 

We must now tell you about Tripitaka and his disciple, who had already gone to rest. That Pilgrim, however, was a spiritual monkey; 
though he lay down, he was only exercising his breath to preserve his spirit, with his eyes half-closed. Suddenly he heard people 
running around outside and the crackling of firewood in the wind. “This is a time for quietness,” he said to himself, his suspicion fully 
aroused, “so why do I hear people walking about? Could they be thieves plotting against us?” Whirling around, he leaped up, and 
would have opened the door to look outside, had he not been afraid of waking his master. Look at him display his abilities! With one 
shake of his body he changed into a bee. Truly he had 

sweet mouth and vicious tail; 
small waist and light body. 

2 cut through flowers and willow like a dart; 

2 sought like a meteor the scented pollen, 
is light, tiny body could bear much weight, 
is thin wings buzzing could ride the wind, 
zscending from rafters and beams, 

2 crawled out to get a clear view. 

He then saw that the various monks were hauling hay and carrying firewood; surrounding the Chan hall, they were about to light the 
fire. “What my master said has really come true!” said Pilgrim, smiling to himself. “Because they wanted to take our lives and rob us 
of our cassock, they were moved to such treachery. I suppose I could use my rod to attack them, but I’m afraid they wouldn’t be able to 
withstand it. A little beating, and they would ah be dead! Then Master would blame me for acting violently again. O, let it be! I shall 
lead the sheep astray conveniently and meet plot with plot, so that they won’t be able to live here anymore.” Dear Pilgrim! With a 
single somersault, he leaped straight up to the South Heaven Gate. He so startled the divine warriors Pang, Liu, Gou, and Bi that they 
bowed, and so alarmed Ma, Zhao, Wen, and Guan that they bent low. “Good Heavens!” they cried. “That character who disrupted 
Heaven is here again!” “No need to stand on ceremony, all of you!” said Pilgrim, waving his hand. “And don’t be alarmed! I came to 
find Virupaksa, the Broad-Eyed Devaraja.” 

Before he had finished speaking, the Devaraja arrived and greeted Pilgrim, saying, “It’s been a long time! I heard some time ago that 
the Bodhisattva Guanyin asked the Jade Emperor for the services of the Four Sentinels, the Six Gods of Light and Darkness, and the 
Guardians to protect the Tang Monk as he goes in quest of scriptures in the Western Heaven. She also said that you had become his 
disciple. How do you have the leisure to be here today?” “Don’t mention leisure!” said Pilgrim. “The Tang Monk met some wicked 
people on his journey, who are about to have him burned up. It’s an extreme emergency, and that’s why I’ve come to borrow your Fire- 
Repelling Cover to save him. Bring it to me quickly; I’ll return it the moment I’m finished with it.” “You are wrong,” said the 
Devaraja. “If wicked people are starting a fire, you should go find water to save him. Why do you want the Fire-Repelling Cover?” 
Pilgrim said, “You have no idea what’s behind this. If I find water to save him, the fire won’t bum, and that will benefit our enemies 
instead. I want this cover so that only the Tang Monk will be protected from harm. I don’t care about the rest! Let them bum! Quickly! 
Quickly! A little delay, and it may be too late! You will botch up my affairs down below!” “This monkey is still plotting with an evil 
mind,” said the Devaraja, laughing. “After looking out for himself, he is not worried about other people.” “Hurry!” said Pilgrim. “Stop 
wagging your tongue, or you'll upset my great enterprise!” The Devaraja dared not refuse and gave Pilgrim the cover. 

Pilgrim took it and descended through the clouds to the roof of the Chan hall, where he covered up the Tang Monk, the white horse, 
and the luggage. He himself then went to sit on the roof of the back room occupied by the old monk in order to guard the cassock. As 
he saw the people lighting the fire, he pressed his fingers together to make a magic sign and recited a spell. Facing the ground to the 
southwest, he took a deep breath and then blew it out. At once a strong wind arose and whipped the fire into a mighty blaze. What a 
fire! What a fire! You see 

tiling black smoke; 

•ulting red flames. 

ith rolling black smoke 

l the stars vanish from the vast sky; 

ith vaulting red flames 

le earth’s lit up, made crimson for a thousand miles, 
the beginning, 

hat gleaming snakes of gold! 

<on thereafter, 

hat imposing bloody horses! 

te Three Southern Forces display their might. 

te Great God of Fire reveals his power. 

hen dried wood burns in such fire intense, 

hy speak of Suirer? drilling fire from wood ? 

hen colored flames shoot out of hot-oiled doors, 

ley match even the opened oven of Laozi. 

lis is how fire rages ruthlessly, 

tough no worse than such intended fraud 

: not suppressing misdeeds 

id abetting violence. 

te wind sweeps the fire 

id flames fly up for some eight thousand feet; 

te fire’s helped by the wind, 

< ashes burst beyond the Ninefold Heaven, 
ng-ping, pang-pang, 

tey sound like those firecrackers at year s end. 

)-po, la-la, 

tey ’re like the roar of cannons in the camps, 
burns till the Buddha's image cannot flee from the scene, 
id the Temple Guardians have no place to hide, 
s like the Red Cliff Campaign in the night? 
trpassing the fire at Epang Palace? 

As the saying goes, “One little spark of fire can bum ten thousand acres.” In a moment, the strong wind and the raging fire made the 
entire Guanyin Hah glowing red. Look at all those monks! They began to bring out the chests and carry out the drawers, to grab for 
tables and snatch up pots. A loud wailing filled the whole courtyard. Pilgrim Sun, however, stood guard at the back while the Fire- 
Repelling Cover securely screened off the Chan hall at the front. The rest of the place was completely lit up; truly the sky was 
illuminated by brilliant red flames, and bright gold light shone through the walls. 

No one knew, however, that when the fire had begun, it had caught the attention of a mountain monster. For about twenty miles due 
south of this Guanyin Hall there was a Black Wind Mountain, where there was also a Black Wind Cave. A monster in the cave, who 
happened to turn over in his sleep, noticed that his windows were lit up. He thought that dawn had broken, but when he arose and took 
another look, he saw instead the brilliant glow of fire burning in the north. Astonished, the monster said, “Good Heavens! There must 
be a fire in the Guanyin Hall. Those monks are so careless! Let me see if I can help them a little!” Dear monster! He rose with his 
cloud and went at once to the place of fire and smoke, where he discovered that the halls front and back were entirely empty while the 
fire in the corridors on both sides was raging. With great strides he ran inside and was about to call for water when he saw that there 
was no fire in the back room. Someone, however, was sitting on the roof whipping up the wind. He began to perceive what was 
happening and ran quickly inside to look around. In the living room of the old monk, he saw on the table colorful radiance emitted by a 
package wrapped in a blue blanket. He untied it and discovered that it was a cassock of silk brocade, a rare Buddhist treasure. Thus it is 
how wealth moves the mind of man! He neither attempted to put out the fire nor called for water. Snatching up the cassock, he 

committed robbery by taking advantage of the confusion and at once turned his cloud back toward the mountain cave. 

The fire raged on until the time of the fifth watch before burning itself out. Look at those monks: weeping and wailing, they went 
with empty hands and naked bodies to rummage about in the ashes, trying desperately to salvage a scrap or two of metal or valuables. 
Some attempted to erect a temporary shelter along the walls, while others amid the rubble tried to build a makeshift oven so that rice 
could be cooked. They were all howling and complaining, but we shall say no more about that. 

Now we shall tell you about Pilgrim, who, taking the Fire-Repelling Cover, sent it up to the South Heaven Gate with one somersault. 
He handed it back to the Broad-Eyed Devaraja, saying, “Thanks so much for lending it to me!” The Devaraja took it back and said, 
“The Great Sage is very honest. I was a little worried that if you did not return my treasure, I would have a hard time finding you. I’m 
glad you brought it right back.” “Do you think that old Monkey is the sort of person who steals openly?” asked Pilgrim. “As the saying 
goes, ‘Return what you borrow, and again you may borrow!’” “I haven’t seen you for a long time,” said the Devaraja, “and I would 
like to invite you to spend some time at my palace. How about it?” Pilgrim said, “Old Monkey can’t do what he did before, ‘squatting 
on a rotted bench and dispensing lofty discourse.’ Now that I have to protect the Tang Monk, I haven’t a moment’s leisure. Give me a 
rain check!” He took leave of the Devaraja quickly and dropped down from the clouds. As the sun arose, he arrived at the Chan hall, 
where with one shake of his body he changed again into a bee. When he flew inside and resumed his original form, he saw that his 
master was still sleeping soundly. 

“Master,” cried Pilgrim, “it’s dawn. Get up.” Only then did Tripitaka awake; he turned around, saying, “Yes, indeed!” Putting on his 
clothes, he opened the door and went out. As he raised his head, he saw crumbling walls and seared partitions; the towers, the terraces, 
and the buildings had all disappeared. “Ah!” he cried, greatly shaken. “How is it that the buildings are all gone? Why are there only 
scorched walls?” “You are still dreaming!” said Pilgrim. “They had a fire here last night.” “Why didn’t I know about it?” asked 
Tripitaka. “It’s old Monkey who safeguarded the Chan hall,” replied Pilgrim. “When I saw that Master was sound asleep, I did not 
disturb you.” “If you had the ability to safeguard the Chan hall,” said Tripitaka, “why didn’t you put out the fire in the other 
buildings?” “So that you may learn the truth,” said Pilgrim, laughing, “just as you predicted it yesterday. They fell in love with our 
cassock and made plans to have us burned to death. If old Monkey had been less alert, we would have been reduced to bone and ashes 
by now!” When Tripitaka heard these words, he was alarmed and asked, “Was it they who set the fire?” “Who else?” said Pilgrim. 
“Could it be,” asked Tripitaka, “that they mistreated you, and you did this?” Pilgrim replied, “Is old Monkey the sort of wretch that 
would indulge in such sordid business? It really was they who set the fire. When I saw how malicious they were, I admit I did not help 
them put the fire out. I did, however, manage to provide them with a little wind!” 

“My God! My God!” said Tripitaka. “When a fire starts, you should get water. How could you provide wind instead?” “You must 
have heard,” said Pilgrim, “what the ancients said: ‘If a man has no desire to harm a tiger, a tiger has no intention of hurting a man.’ If 
they hadn’t played with fire, would I have played with wind?” “Where’s the cassock?” asked Tripitaka. “Has it been burned?” “Not at 
all!” replied Pilgrim. “It hasn’t been burned, for the fire didn’t reach the living quarters of the old monk where the cassock was 
placed.” “I don’t care!” exclaimed Tripitaka, his resentment rising. “If there’s the slightest damage, I’m going to recite that little 
something and you’ll be dead!” “Master!” cried Pilgrim with alarm, “don’t start your recitation! I'll find the cassock and return it to 
you, and that’ll be the end of the matter. Let me go fetch it so that we can start on our journey.” Tripitaka led the horse while Pilgrim 
took up the load of luggage. They left the Chan hall and went to the room at the rear. 

We now tell you about the monks, who were still grieving when they suddenly saw master and disciple approaching with the horse 
and the luggage. Scared out of their wits, they all said, “The wronged souls have come to seek vengeance!” “What wronged souls are 
seeking vengeance?” shouted Pilgrim. “Give back my cassock quickly!” All the monks fell to their knees at once, saying as they 
kowtowed, “Holy Fathers! Just as a wrong implies an enemy, so a debt has its proper creditor! If you seek vengeance, please 
understand that we had nothing to do with this. It was the old monk who plotted with Big Plan against you. Don’t make us pay for your 
lives!” “You damnable beasts!” cried Pilgrim angrily. “Who wants you to pay with your lives? Just give me back the cassock and we’ll 
be going.” Two of the monks who were less timid said to him, “Father, you were supposed to be burned to death in the Chan hall, and 
yet now you come to demand the cassock. Are you indeed a man, or are you a ghost?” “This bunch of accursed creatures!” said 
Pilgrim, laughing. “Where was the fire? Go to the front and look at the Chan hall. Then you can come back and talk.” The monks got 
up and went to the front to look; not even half an inch of the door, the window, or the screen outside the Chan hall was scorched. One 
and all were awestruck and became convinced that Tripitaka was a divine monk, and Pilgrim a celestial guardian. They all went 
forward to kowtow to them, saying, “We have eyes but no pupils, and therefore we did not recognize True Men descending to Earth. 
Your cassock is at the residence of the old Patriarch at the back.” Tripitaka was deeply saddened by the rows of crumbling walls and 
damaged partitions they went past before arriving at the Patriarch’s chambers, which were indeed untouched by fire. The monks 
dashed in, crying, “Aged Father, the Tang Monk must be a god. He hasn’t been burned to death, though we have hurt ourselves. Let’s 
take the cassock quickly and give it back to him.” 

But the fact of the matter is that the old monk could not find the cassock. In addition, most of the buildings in his monastery had 
been ruined, and he was, of course, terribly distressed. When he heard the monks calling, how could he have the courage to reply? 
Feeling utterly helpless and incapable of solving his dilemma, he bent forward, took several great strides, and rammed his head into the 
wall. How pitiful! The impact made 

le brain burst, the blood flow, and his soul disperse; 
is head stained the sand as his breathing stopped. 

We have a poem as a testimony, which says: 

> lamentable is this blind old monk! 
vain he lives among men to such old age. 

? wants the cassock forever to keep, 

)t knowing how uncommon is Buddha's gift, 
you think what endures can come with ease, 

•urs will be sure failure and certain grief, 
g Plan, Great Wisdom, of what use are they? 

• gain by others ’loss—what empty dreams! 

Shocked to tears, the monks cried, “The Patriarch has killed himself. And we can’t find the cassock. What shall we do?” “It must 
have been you who stole it and hid it,” said Pilgrim. “Come out, all of you! Give me a complete list of your names and let me check 
you off the roll one by one.” The head residents of all the upper and lower chambers made a thorough accounting of all the monks, the 
dhiitas, the young novices, and the Daoists in two scrolls, and presented Pilgrim with some two hundred and thirty names. Asking his 
master to take a seat in the middle. Pilgrim went through the roll and examined the monks one by one. Every person had to loosen his 
clothes to be searched thoroughly, but there was no cassock. They then went to hunt through the trunks and chests that had been 
salvaged from the fire, but again there was not the slightest trace of the garment. In dismay, Tripitaka became more and more 
embittered toward Pilgrim until he began reciting the spell as he sat there. Falling at once to the ground, Pilgrim gripped his head with 
his hands, hardly able to bear the pain. “Stop the recitation! Stop the recitation!” he cried. “I’ll find the cassock.” Terrified by what 
they saw, the various monks went forward and knelt down to plead with Tripitaka, who only then stopped his recitation. Pilgrim leaped 
straight up and whipped out his rod front his ear. He would have struck at the monks, had not Tripitaka shouted for him to halt, crying, 
“Monkey! Aren’t you afraid of your headache? Do you still want to behave badly? Don’t move, and don’t hurt people! Let me question 
them further.” The monks kowtowed and begged Tripitaka, saying, “Father, please spare us. Truly we did not see your cassock. It was 
entirely the fault of that old devil! After he got your cassock last night, he started crying until very late; he didn’t even bother to look at 
it, for all he had on his mind was how he might keep it permanently as an heirloom. That was why he made plans to have you burned 
to death, but after the fire started, a violent wind arose also. Every one of us was only concerned with putting out the fire and trying to 
save something. We have no idea where the cassock has gone.” 

Angrily, Pilgrim walked into the Patriarch’s room, pulled out the corpse of the old man rammed to death, and stripped him naked. 
The body was examined carefully, but the treasure was nowhere to be seen. Even if they had dug up three feet of the ground in that 
room, there would have been not a trace of it. Pilgrim thought silently for awhile and then asked, “Is there any monster around here 
who has become a spirit?” “If father hadn’t asked,” said the abbot, “he would have never known about this. Southeast of us there is a 
Black Wind Mountain, in which there is a Black Wind Cave. In the cave is a Black Great King, with whom this deceased old fellow of 
ours used to discuss the Dao frequently. He is the only monster spirit around here.” “How far is the mountain from here?” asked 
Pilgrim. “Only twenty miles,” said the abbot. “The peak that you can see right now is where it is.” Pilgrim laughed and said, “Relax, 
Master! No need for further discussion; it must have been stolen by the black monster.” “That place is about twenty miles away,” said 
Tripitaka. “How can you be so sure that it was he?” “You didn’t see last night’s fire,” said Pilgrim, “when its light illuminated great 
distances, and its brightness penetrated the Threefold Heaven. Not just for twenty miles, but for two hundred miles around it could be 
seen. I have no doubt that he saw the brilliant glow of the fire and used that opportunity to come here secretly. When he saw that our 
cassock was a treasure, he grabbed it in the confusion and left. Let old Monkey go find him.” “Who will care for me while you are 
gone?” asked Tripitaka. “You can relax,” said Pilgrim. “You have in secret the protection of the gods; and in the open, I shall make 
sure that the monks wait on you.” He then called the monks over, saying, “A few of you can go and bury that old devil, while the 
others can wait on my master and watch our white horse.” The monks at once agreed. Pilgrim said again, “Don’t give me any casual 
reply now, only to grow slack in your service after I’m gone. Those who wait on my master must be cheerful and pleasant; those who 
look after the white horse must take care that water and hay are fed in proper proportions. If there’s the slightest mistake, you can count 
on meeting this rod. Now watch!” He whipped out his rod and aimed it at the seared bricked wall: with one stroke, not only did he 
pulverize the wall, but the impact was so great that it caused seven or eight more walls to collapse. When the various monks saw this, 
they were all paralyzed with fear. They knelt to kowtow with tears flowing from their eyes and said, “Father, please be assured that we 
shall be most diligent in caring for the holy father after you are gone. We wouldn’t dream of slacking in any way.” 

Dear Pilgrim! He swiftly mounted the cloud somersault and went straight to the Black Wind Mountain to look for the cassock. Thus 
it was that 

nth-seeking Gold Cicada left Chang' an? 
ith gifts he went westward, passing blue-green hills, 
lere were wolves and tigers as he walked along, 
tough merchants or scholars were rarely seen, 
ne foolish monk’s envy abroad he met; 

Is refuge solely was the Great Sage’s might. 

te fire grew; the wind came and wrecked the Chan hall. 

Black Bear at night stole the embroidered robe. 


Pilgrim Sun greatly disturbs the Black Wind Mountain; 

Guanshiyin brings to submission the bear monster. 

We now tell you that when Pilgrim Sun somersaulted into the air, he so terrified the monks, the dhutas, the young novices, and the 
attendants at the Guanyin Hall that every person bowed to the sky, saying, “O, Father! So you are actually an incarnate deity who 
knows how to ride the fog and sail with the clouds! No wonder fire cannot harm you! That ignorant old carcass of ours—how 
despicable he was! He used all his intelligence only to bring disaster on his own head.” “Please rise, all of you,” said Tripitaka. 
“There’s no need for regret. Let’s hope that he’ll find the cassock, and everything will be all right. But if not, I would fear for your 
lives; for that disciple of mine has a bad temper, and I’m afraid that none of you will escape him.” When the monks heard this, they 
were all panic-stricken; they pleaded with Heaven for the cassock to be found so that their lives would be preserved, but we shall say 
no more about them for the moment. 

We were telling you about the Great Sage Sun. Having leaped up into the air, he gave one twist of his torso and arrived at once at the 
Black Wind Mountain. Stopping his cloud, he looked carefully and saw that it was indeed a magnificent mountain, especially in this 
time of spring. You see 

any streams potently flowing, 

mntless cliffs vying for beauty. 

le birds call but no man is seen; 

tough flowers fall, the tree’s yet scented. 

i e rain passes, the sky’s one moist sheet of blue; 

te wind comes, the pines rock like screens of jade. 

i e mountain grass sprouts, 

te wildflowers bloom 

i hanging cliffs and high ranges. 

te wisteria grows, 

te handsome trees bud 

n rugged peaks and flat plateaus. 

•u don’t even meet a recluse, 
here can you find a woodsman? 

> the stream the cranes drink in pairs; 

n the rocks wild apes madly play. 

igustly the branches spread their luscious green, 

isking their splendor in bright mountain mist. 

Pilgrim was enjoying the scenery when suddenly he heard voices coming from beyond a lovely grass meadow. With light, stealthy 
steps, he inched forward and hid himself beneath a cliff to have a peep. He saw three monsters sitting on the ground: a swarthy fellow 
in the middle, a Daoist to the left, and a white-robed scholar to the right. They were in the midst of an animated conversation, 
discussing how to establish the tripod and the oven, how to knead the cinnabar and refine the mercury, the topics of white snow and 
yellow sprout, 1 and the esoteric doctrines of heterodox Daoism. As they were speaking, the swarthy fellow said, laughing, “The day 
after tomorrow will be the date of my mother’s labor. Will you two gentlemen pay me a visit?” “Every year we celebrate the Great 
King’s birthday,” said the white-robed scholar. “How could we think of not coming this year?” “Last night I came upon a treasure,” 
said the swarthy fellow, “which may be called a brocaded robe of Buddha. It’s a most attractive thing, and I think I’m going to use it to 
enhance my birthday. I plan to give a large banquet, starting tomorrow, and to invite all our Daoist friends of various mountains to 
celebrate this garment. We shall call the party the Festival of the Buddha Robe. How about that?” “Marvelous! Marvelous!” said the 
Daoist, laughing. “First I’ll come to the banquet tomorrow, and then I’ll bring you good wishes on your birthday the day after.” 

When Pilgrim heard them speaking about a robe of Buddha, he was certain that they were referring to his own treasure. Unable to 
suppress his anger, he leaped clear of his hiding place and raised high the golden-hooped rod with both hands, shouting, “You 
larcenous monsters! You stole my cassock. What Festival of the Buddha Robe do you think you are going to have? Give it back to me 
at once, and don’t try to run away!” Wielding his rod, he struck at their heads. In panic, the swarthy fellow fled by riding the wind, and 
the Daoist escaped by mounting the clouds. The white-robed scholar, however, was killed by one stroke of the rod, and he turned out to 
be the spirit of a white-spotted snake when Pilgrim pulled his body over for closer examination. He picked up the corpse again and 
broke it into several pieces before proceeding deep into the mountain to look for the swarthy fellow. Passing pointed peaks and rugged 
ridges, he found himself in front of a hanging cliff with a cave dwelling below it. You see 

'ist and smoke abundant, 

>press and pine umbrageous. 

ist and smoke abundant, their hues surround the door; 

>press and pine umbrageous, their green entwines the gate. 

at, dried wood supports a bridge. 

isterias coil round the ridge. 

rds carrying red petals reach the cloudy gorge. 

id deer tread on florets to comb the rocky flats. 

fore that door 

i e flowers bloom with the season 
: the wind wafts their fragrance, 
op the dyke-shading willows orioles sing; 

’er the bank's sweet peaches butterflies flit, 
lis rustic spot, though no cause for much praise, 
ill rivals the3 beauty of Mount Penglai?' 

Pilgrim went to the door and found that the two stone doors were tightly closed. On top of the door was a stone tablet, on which was 
plainly written in large letters, “Black Wind Mountain, Black Wind Cave.” He lifted his rod to beat at the door, crying, “Open the 
door!” A little demon who stood guard at the door came out and asked, “Who are you, that you dare beat at our immortal cave?” “You 
damnable beast!” scolded Pilgrim. “What sort of a place is this, that you dare assume the title of ‘immortal’? Is the word ‘immortal’ for 

you to use? Hurry inside and tell that swarthy fellow to bring out your venerable father’s cassock at once. Then I may spare the lives of 
the whole nest of you.” The little demon ran swiftly inside and reported: “Great King! You won’t have a Festival of the Buddha Robe. 
There’s a monk with a hairy face and a thunder-god mouth outside demanding the cassock.” 

That swarthy fellow, after being chased by Pilgrim from the grass meadow, had just managed to reach the cave. He had not even 
been able to sit down when he again heard this announcement, and he thought to himself: “I wonder where this fellow came from, so 
arrogant that he dared show up making demands at my door!” He asked for his armor, and, after putting it on, he walked outside 
holding a lance with black tassels. Pilgrim stood on one side of the gate, holding his iron rod and glaring. The monster indeed cut a 
formidable figure: 

bowl-like helmet of dark burnished steel; 
black-gold cuirass that shone most bright, 
black silk robe with wide wind-bagging sleeves, 
id dark green sashes with long, long tassels, 
z held in his hands a black-tasseled lance, 
z wore on his feet two black-leather boots. 

Is eyes ’golden pupils like lightning flashed, 
z was thus in this mountain the Black Wind King. 

“This fellow,” said Pilgrim, smiling to himself, “looks exactly like a kiln worker or a coal miner. He must scrub charcoal here for a 
living! How did he get to be black all over?” The monster called out in a loud voice, “What kind of a monk are you that you dare to be 
so impudent around here?” Rushing up to him with his iron rod, Pilgrim roared, “No idle conversation! Return the cassock of your 
venerable grandfather at once!” “What monastery are you from, bonze?” asked the monster, “and where did you lose your cassock that 
you dare show up at my place and demand its return?” “My cassock,” said Pilgrim, “was stored in the back room of the Guanyin Hall 
due north of here. Because of the fire there, you committed robbery by taking advantage of the confusion; after making off with the 
garment, you even wanted to start a Festival of the Buddha Robe to celebrate your birthday. Do you deny this? Give it back to me 
quickly, and I’ll spare your life. If you but mutter half a ‘no,’ I’ll overturn the Black Wind Mountain and level the Black Wind Cave. 
Your whole cave of demons will be pulverized!” 

When the monster heard these words, he laughed scornfully and said, “You audacious creature! You yourself set the fire last night, 
for you were the one who summoned the wind on top of the roof. I took the cassock all right, but what are you going to do about it? 
Where do you come from, and what is your name? What ability do you have, that you dare mouth such reckless words?” Pilgrim said, 
“So you don’t recognize your venerable grandfather! He is the disciple of the Master of the Law, Tripitaka, who happens to be the 
brother of the Throne in the Great Tang Nation. My surname is Sun, and my given name is Wukong Pilgrim. If I tell you my abilities, 
you’ll be frightened out of your wits and die right on the spot!” “I won’t,” said the monster. “Tell me what abilities you have.” “My 
son,” said Pilgrim, laughing, “brace yourself! Listen carefully! 3 

'•eat since my youth was my magic power; 

•hanged with the wind to display my might, 
mg I trained my nature and practiced Truth 

• flee the wheel of karma with my life. 

ith mind sincere I always sought the Way; 
edlings of herbs I plucked on Mount Lingtai 
tere was in that mountain an old immortal. 

Is age: one hundred and eight thousand years! 
z became my master most solemnly 
id showed me the way to longevity, 
ying that in my body were physic and pills 
hich one would work in vain to seek outside, 
z gave me those high secrets of the gods; 
ith no foundation I would have been lost, 
y inner light relumed, I sat in peace 
: sun and moon mated within myself .^ 
hought of nothing—all my desires gone, 
y body strengthened, my six senses cleansed. 

•om age back to youth was an easy boon; 

' join transcendents was no distant goal, 
tree years without leaks ^ made a godlike frame, 
imune to sufferings known to mortal men. 
dying through the Ten Islets and Three Isles, 
nade the rounds at Heaven s very edge, 
ived like that for some three hundred years, 
tough not yet ascended to the Ninefold Heaven, 
ming sea dragons brought me treasure true: 
i e golden-hooped rod I did find below. 

: field marshal at the Flower-Fruit Mount, 
onsters I gathered at Water-Curtain Cave, 
ten the Jade Emperor gave to me the name, 

\ual to Heaven — such, the rank most high, 
trice I caused havoc in Divine Mists Hall; 
nee I stole peaches from the Mother Queen, 
tus came a hundred thousand men divine 

• curb me with their rows of spears and swords, 
te Devaraja was beaten back to Heaven, 

hile Nata in pain led his troops and fled, 
ansheng Master^ knew transformations well; 
ith him I waged a contest and Ifell, 
tozi, Guanyin, and the Jade Emperor 
l watched the battle at South Heaven Gate, 
hen Laozi decided to lend his help, 
jang brought me to Heaven s magistrate. 

• the monster-routing pillar I was tied; 

le gods were told to have my head cut off. 
tiling to harm me with either sledge or sword, 
ley would blast and burn me with thunderclaps, 
hat skills indeed did this old Monkey have, 
ho was not even half a whit afraid! 

to Laozi s brazier they sent me next, 

• have me slowly cooked by fire divine, 
le day the lid was opened I jumped out 

id ran through Heaven brandishing a rod. 
ick and forth I prowled with none to stop me, 
aking havoc through all thirty-six Heavens, 
ten Tathdgata revealed his power: 
nder Mount Five Phases he had me clamped, 
id there I squirmed for a full five hundred years 
II by luck Tripitaka left the Tang court, 
yw I go West, having yielded to Truth, 

• see Jade Eyebrows at Great Thunderclap. ^ 
y and ask in the four corners of the universe: 

•u ’ll learn I’m the famous ranking daimon of all time!” 

When the monster heard these words, he laughed and said, “So you are the BanHorsePlague who disturbed the Celestial Palace?” 
What most annoyed Pilgrim was when people called him BanHorsePlague. The moment he heard that name, he lost his temper. “You 
monstrous rogue!” he shouted. “You would not return the cassock you stole, and yet you dare insult this holy monk. Don’t run away! 
Watch this rod!” The swarthy fellow jumped aside to dodge the blow; wielding his long lance, he went forward to meet his opponent. 
That was some battle between the two of them: 

ie compliant rod, 
le black-tasseled lance. 

\>o men display their power before the cave: 

abbing at the heart and face; 

riking at the head and arm. 

tis one proves handy with a death-dealing rod; 

tat one tilts the lance for swift, triple jabs. 

ie “white tiger climbing the mountain ” extends his paws; 

\e “yellow dragon lying on the road’® turns his back, 
ith colored mists flying 
id bright flashes of light, 
vo monster-gods ’strength is yet to be tried, 
ne’s the truth-seeking, Equal-to-Heaven Sage; 
ne's the Great Black King who’s now a spirit, 
hy wage this battle in the mountain still? 
ie cassock, for which each would aim to kill! 

That monster fought with Pilgrim for more than ten rounds until about noon, but the battle was a draw. Using his lance to halt the rod 
for a moment, the swarthy fellow said, “Pilgrim Sun, let us put away our weapons for the time being. Let me have some lunch first, 
and then I’ll wage a further contest with you.” “Accursed beast!” said Pilgrim. “You want to be a hero? Which hero wants to eat after 
fighting for merely half a day? Consider old Monkey, who was imprisoned beneath the mountain for altogether five hundred years and 
he hadn’t even tasted a drop of water. So, what’s this about being hungry? Don’t give me any excuses and don’t run away! Give me 
back my cassock, and I'll allow you to go and eat.” But that monster only managed to throw one more feeble thrust with his lance 
before dashing into the cave and shutting his stone doors. He dismissed his little demons and made preparations for the banquet, 
writing out invitation cards to the monster kings of various mountains, but we shall say no more about that. 

We must tell you that Pilgrim had no success in breaking down the door and so had to return to the Guanyin Hall. The clerics of that 
monastery had already buried the old monk, and they were all gathered in the back room to minister to the Tang Monk, serving him 
lunch soon after he had finished breakfast. As they were scurrying about fetching soup and hauling water. Pilgrim was seen descending 
from the sky. The monks bowed courteously and received him into the back room to see Tripitaka. “Wukong,” said Tripitaka, “so 
you’ve returned. How is the cassock?” “At least I found the real culprit,” said Pilgrim. “It was a good thing that we did not punish 
these monks, for the monster of Black Wind Mountain did steal it. I went secretly looking for him, and saw him seated on a beautiful 
grass meadow having a conversation with a white-robed scholar and an old Daoist. He was, in a sense, making a confession without 
being tortured, saying something about the day after tomorrow being his birthday, when he would invite all the other griffins for the 
occasion. He also mentioned that he had found an embroidered Buddha robe last night, in celebration of which he was planning to 
throw a large banquet, calling it the Festival of the Buddha Robe. Old Monkey rushed up to them and struck out with his rod; the 
swarthy fellow changed into the wind and left, and the Daoist also disappeared. The white-robed scholar, however, was killed, and he 
turned out to be a white-spotted snake who had become a spirit. I quickly chased the swarthy fellow to his cave and demanded that he 
come out to fight. He had already admitted that he took the cassock, but we fought to a draw after half a day of battle. The monster 
returned to his cave because he wanted to eat; he closed his stone doors tightly and refused to fight anymore. I came back to see how 
you were and to make this report to you. Since I know the whereabouts of the cassock, I’m not worried about his unwillingness to give 
it back to me.” 

When the various monks heard this, some of them folded their hands while others kowtowed, all chanting, “Namo Amitabha! Now 
that the whereabouts of the cassock is known, we have a claim to our lives again.” 

“Don’t celebrate yet,” said Pilgrim, “for I have not yet recovered it, nor has my master left. Wait until we have the cassock so that 
my master can walk peacefully out of this door before you start cheering. If there’s the slightest mishap, old Monkey is no customer to 
be provoked, is he? Have you served some good things to my master? Have you given our horse plenty of hay?” 

“We have, we have, we have!” cried the monks hastily. “Our service to the holy monk has not slackened in the least!” “You were 
gone only half a day,” said Tripitaka, “and I have been served tea three times and have had two vegetarian meals. They didn’t dare 
slight me. You should therefore make a great effort to get back the cassock.” “Don’t rush!” said Pilgrim. “Since I know where he is, I 
shall certainly capture this fellow and return the garment to you. Relax! Relax!” 

As they were speaking, the abbot brought in some more vegetarian dainties to serve to the holy monk Sun. Pilgrim ate some and left 
at once on the hallowed cloud to search for the monster. As he was traveling, he saw a little demon approaching from the main road, 
who had a box made of pear tree wood wedged between his left arm and his body. Suspecting that something important was inside the 
box, Pilgrim raised his rod and brought it down hard on the demon’s head. Alas, the demon could not take such a blow! He was 

instantly reduced to a meat patty, which Pilgrim tossed to the side of the road. When he opened the box, there was indeed an invitation 
slip, on which was written: 

Your student-servant, the Bear, most humbly addresses the Exalted Aged Dean of the Golden Pool. For the gracious gifts you have bestowed on me on several occasions I am profoundly grateful. I 
regret that I was unable to assist you last night when you were visited by the God of Fire, but I suppose that Your Holy Eminence has not been adversely affected in any way. Your student by chance has 
acquired a Buddha robe, and this occasion calls for a festive celebration. I have therefore prepared with care some fine wine for your enjoyment, with the sincere hope that Your Holy Eminence will be 
pleased to give us a visit. This invitation is respectfully submitted two days in advance. 

When Pilgrim saw this, he roared with laughter, saying, “That old carcass! He didn’t lose anything by his death! So he belonged to a 
monster’s gang! Small wonder that he lived to his two hundred and seventieth year! That monster, I suppose, must have taught him 
some little magic like ingesting his breath, 10 and that was how he enjoyed such longevity. I can still remember how he looked. Let me 
change myself into that monk and go to the cave to see where my cassock is located. If I can manage it, I'll take it back without 
wasting my energy.” 

Dear Great Sage! He recited a spell, faced the wind, and changed at once into an exact semblance of that old monk. Putting away his 
iron rod, he strode to the cave, crying, “Open the door!” When the little demon who stood at the door saw such a figure, he quickly 
made his report inside: “Great King, the Elder of the Golden Pool has arrived.” Greatly surprised, the monster said, “I just sent a little 
one to deliver an invitation to him, but he could not possibly have reached his destination even at this moment. How could the old 
monk arrive so quickly? I suppose the little one did not run into hint on the way, but Pilgrim Sun must have asked him to come here for 
the cassock. You, steward, hide the cassock! Don’t let him see it!” 

Walking through the front door, Pilgrim saw in the courtyard pines and bamboos sharing their green, peaches and plums competing 
in their glamour; flowers were blooming everywhere, and the air was heavy with the scent of orchids. It was quite a grotto-heaven. He 
saw, moreover, a parallel couplet mounted on both sides of the second doorway that read: 

deep mountain retreat without worldly cares, 
divine cave secluded—what joy serene. 

Pilgrim said to himself, “This fellow is also one who withdraws from dirt and dust, a fiendish creature who knows his fate.” 11 He 
walked through the door and proceeded further; when he passed through the third doorway, he saw carved beams with elaborate 
ornaments and large windows brightly decorated. Then the swarthy fellow appeared, wearing a casual jacket made of fine dark-green 
silk, topped by a crow-green cape of figured damask; he wore a head-wrap of black cloth and was shod in a pair of black suede boots. 
When he saw Pilgrim entering, he tidied his clothes and went down the steps to receive him, saying, “Golden Pool, old friend, we 
haven’t seen each other for days. Please take a seat! Please take a seat!” Pilgrim greeted him ceremoniously, after which they sat down 
and drank tea. 

After tea, the monster bowed low and said, “I just sent you a brief note, humbly inviting you to visit me the day after tomorrow. 
Why does my old friend grant me that pleasure today, already?” “I was just coming to pay my respects,” said Pilgrim, “and I did not 
anticipate meeting your kind messenger. When 1 saw that there was going to be a Festival of the Buddha Robe, I came hurriedly, 
hoping to see the garment.” “My old friend may be mistaken,” said the monster, laughing. “This cassock originally belonged to the 
Tang Monk, who was staying at your place. Why would you want to look at it here, since you must surely have seen it before?” “Your 
poor monk,” answered Pilgrim, “did borrow it, but he did not have the opportunity last night to examine it before it was taken by the 
Great King. Moreover, our monastery, including all our belongings, was destroyed by fire, and the disciple of that Tang Monk was 
rather bellicose about the matter. In all that confusion, I couldn’t find the cassock anywhere, not knowing that the Great King in his 
good fortune found it. That is why I came specially to see it.” 

As they were speaking, one of the little demons out on patrol came back to report: “Great King, disaster! The junior officer who 
went to deliver the invitation was beaten to death by Pilgrim Sun and left by the wayside. Our enemy followed the clue and changed 
himself into the Golden Pool Elder so that he could obtain the Buddha robe by fraud.” When the monster heard that, he said to himself, 
“I was wondering already why he came today, and in such a hurried manner too! So, it’s really he!” Leaping up, he grabbed his lance 
and aimed it at Pilgrim. Whipping out the rod from his ear, Pilgrim assumed his original form and parried the lance. They rushed from 
the living room to the front courtyard, and front there they fought their way out to the front door. The monsters in the cave were 
frightened out of their wits; young and old in that household were horror-stricken. This fierce contest before the mountain was even 
unlike the last one. What a fight! 

iis Monkey King boldly posed as a monk; 
tat swarthy chap wisely concealed the robe, 
ick and forth went their clever repartee, 
iapting to each instant perfectly. 

? would see the cassock but had no means: 

iis runic treasure's a mystery indeed! 

le small imp on patrol announced mishap; 

i e old fiend in anger showed his power. 

tey fought their way out of the Black Wind Cave, 

le rod and the lance forced a trial by might. 

le rod checked the lance, their noise resounding; 

le lance met the rod, causing sparks to fly. 

te changes of Wukong, all unknown to men; 

te monster’s magic skills, so rare on earth. 

iis one wanted for his birthday fete a Buddha robe. 

ould that one with no cassock go home in peace? 

te bitter fight this time seemed without end. 

>en a live Buddha descending could not break them up! 

From the entrance of the cave the two of them fought up to the peak of the mountain, and from the peak of the mountain they fought 
their way up to the clouds. Belching wind and fog, kicking up sand and rocks, they fought until the red sun sank toward the west, but 
neither of them could gain the upper hand. The monster said, “Hey, Sun! Stop for a moment! It’s getting too late to fight any more. Go 
away! Come back tomorrow morning, and we’II decide your fate.” “Don’t run away, my son,” cried Pilgrim. “If you want to fight, act 
like a fighter! Don’t give me the excuse that it’s getting late.” With his rod, he rained blows indiscriminately on his opponent’s head 

and face, but the swarthy fellow changed once more into a clear breeze and went back to his cave. Tightly bolting his stone doors, he 
refused to come out. 

Pilgrim had no alternative except to go back to the Guanyin Hall. Dropping down from the clouds, he said, “Master.” Tripitaka, who 
was waiting for him with bulging eyes, was delighted to see him; but when he did not see the cassock, he became frightened again. 
“How is it that you still have not brought back the cassock?” he asked. Pilgrim took out from his sleeve the invitation slip and handed 
it over to Tripitaka, saying, “Master, the monster and that old carcass used to be friends. He sent a little demon here with this invitation 
for him to go to a Festival of the Buddha Robe. I killed the little demon and changed into the fonn of the old monk to get inside the 
cave. I managed to trick him into giving me a cup of tea, but when I asked for the cassock, he refused to show it to me. As we were 
sitting there, my identity was leaked by someone on patrol in the mountain, and we began to fight. The battle lasted until this early 
evening and ended in a draw. When the monster saw that it was late, he slipped back into the cave and tightly bolted up his stone door. 
Old Monkey had no choice but to return here for the moment.” 

“How’s your skill as a fighter when compared with his?” asked Tripitaka. “Not much better,” said Pilgrim. “We are quite evenly 
matched.” Tripitaka then read the invitation slip and handed it to the abbot, saying, “Could it be that your master was also a monster- 
spirit?” Falling to his knees, the abbot said, “Old Father, my master is human. Because that Great Black King attained the way of 
humanity through self-cultivation, he frequently came to the monastery to discuss religious texts with my master. He imparted to my 
master a little of the magic of nourishing one’s spirit and ingesting breath; hence they address each other as friends.” 

“This bunch of monks here,” said Pilgrim, “don’t have the aura of monsters: each one has a round head pointing to the sky and a pair 
of feet set flat on the earth. They are a little taller and heavier than old Monkey, but they are no monsters. Look at what’s written on the 
slip: ‘your student-servant, the Bear.’ This creature must be a black bear who has become a spirit.” Tripitaka said, “I have heard from 
the ancients that the bear and the ape are of the same kind. They are all beasts, in other words. How can this bear become a spirit?” 
“Old Monkey is also a beast,” said Pilgrim, laughing, “but I became the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven. Is he any different? All the 
creatures of this world who possess the nine apertures can become immortals through the art of self-cultivation.” “You just said that the 
two of you were evenly matched,” said Tripitaka again. “How can you defeat him and recover my cassock?” “Lay off! Lay off!” said 
Pilgrim. “I know what to do.” As they were discussing the matter, the monks brought in the evening meal for master and disciple. 
Afterwards, Tripitaka asked for lamps to go to the Chan hall in front to rest. The rest of the monks reclined against the walls beneath 
some temporary awnings and slept, while the back rooms were given to accommodate the senior and junior abbots. It was now late. 
You see 

ie Silver Stream aglow; 
le air perfectly pure; 
ie sky full of bright and twinkling stars; 
ie river marked by receding tide. 

I sounds are hushed; 

l hills emptied of birds. 

re fisherman's fire dies by the brook; 

i e lamps grow faint on the pagoda. 

ist night acdryas sounded drums and bells. 

nly weeping is heard throughout this night! 

So they spent the night in the Chan hall, but Tripitaka was thinking about the cassock. How could he possibly sleep well? As he 
tossed and turned, he suddenly saw the windows growing bright. He arose at once and called: “Wukong, it’s morning. Go find the 
cassock quickly.” Pilgrim leaped up with a bound and saw that the monks were bringing in washing water. “All of you,” said Pilgrim, 
“take care to minister to my master. Old Monkey is leaving.” Getting up from his bed, Tripitaka clutched at him, asking, “Where are 
you going?” “Come to think of it,” said Pilgrim, “this whole affair reveals the irresponsibility of the Bodhisattva Guanyin. She has a 
Chan hall here where she has enjoyed the incense and worship of all the local people, and yet she can permit a monster-spirit to be her 
neighbor. I’m leaving for the South Sea to find her for a little conversation. I’m going to ask her to come here and demand that the 
monster return the cassock to us.” “When will you be back?” asked Tripitaka. “Probably right after breakfast,” answered Pilgrim. “At 
the latest, I should be back around noon, when everything should be taken care of. All of you monks must take care to wait on my 
master. Old Monkey is leaving.” 

He said he was leaving, and the next instant he was already out of sight. In a moment, he arrived at the South Sea, where he stopped 
his cloud to look around. He saw 

vast expanse of ocean, 

here water and sky seemed to merge. 

ispicious light shrouded the earth; 

allowed air brightened the world. 

idless snow-capped waves surged up to Heaven; 

lyers of misty billows washed out the sun. 

ater flying every where; 

aves churning all around. 

iter flying every where rolled like thunderclaps; 

aves churning all around boomed like cannonade. 

>eak not merely of water; 

•t’s look more at the center, 
le treasure-filled mountain of five dazzling colors: 
id, yellow, green, deep purple, and blue, 
this be Guanyin’s scenic region true, 

>ok further at Potalaka of South Sea. 
hat a splendid place! 
ie tall mountain peak 
it through airy space, 
its midst were thousands of rare flowers, 
hundred kinds of divine herbs, 
le wind stirred the precious trees; 
le sun shone on the golden lotus. 

'azed tiles covered the Guanyin Hall; 

•rtoiseshell spread before the Tidal-Sound Cave, 
the shades of green willow the parrot spoke; 

ithin the bamboo grove the peacock sang, 
n rocks with grains like fingerprints, 
le guardians fierce and solemn, 
ifore the cornelian foreshore, 
oksa strong and heroic. 

Pilgrim, who could hardly take his eyes off the marvelous scenery, lowered his cloud and went straight to the bamboo grove. The 
various deities were there to receive him, saying, “The Bodhisattva told us some time ago about the conversion of the Great Sage, for 
whom she had nothing but praise. You are supposed to be accompanying the Tang Monk at this moment. How do you have the time to 
come here?” “Because I am accompanying the Tang Monk,” said Pilgrim, “I had an incident on our journey about which I must see the 
Bodhisattva. Please announce my arrival.” The deities went to the mouth of the cave to make the announcement, and the Bodhisattva 
asked him to enter. Obeying the summons. Pilgrim went before the bejeweled lotus platform and knelt down. 

“What are you doing here?” asked the Bodhisattva. “On his journey my master came across one of your Chan halls,” said Pilgrim, 
“where you receive the services of fire and incense from the local people. But you also permitted a Black Bear Spirit to live nearby and 
to steal the cassock of my master. Several times I tried to get it back but without success. I have come specifically to ask you for it.” 
The Bodhisattva said, “This monkey still speaks insolently! If the Bear Spirit stole your cassock, why did you come to ask me for it? It 
was all because you had the presumption, you wretched ape, to show off your treasure to sinister people. Moreover, you had your share 
of evildoing when you called for the wind to intensify the fire, which burned down one of my way stations down below. And yet you 
still want to be rowdy around here?” When Pilgrim heard the Bodhisattva speaking like that, he realized that she had knowledge of 
past and future events. Hurriedly he bowed with humility and said, “Bodhisattva, please pardon the offense of your disciple. It was as 
you said. But I’m upset by the monster’s refusal to give us back our cassock, and my master is threatening to recite that spell of his at 
any moment. I can’t bear the headache, and that’s why I have come to cause you inconvenience. I beseech the Bodhisattva to have 
mercy on me and help me capture that monster, so that we may recover the garment and proceed toward the West.” 

“That monster has great magical power,” said the Bodhisattva, “really just as strong as yours. All right! For the sake of the Tang 
Monk, I’ll go with you this time.” When Pilgrim heard this, he bowed again in gratitude and asked the Bodhisattva to leave at once. 
They mounted the blessed clouds and soon arrived on the Black Wind Mountain. Dropping down from the clouds, they followed a path 
to look for the cave. 

As they were walking, they saw a Daoist coming down the mountain slope, holding a glass tray on which there were two magic 
pills. Pilgrim ran right into him, whipped out his rod, and brought it down squarely on his head, with one blow causing the brains to 
burst and blood to shoot out from the neck. Completely stunned, the Bodhisattva said, “Monkey, you are still so reckless! He didn’t 
steal your cassock; he neither knew nor wronged you. Why did you kill him with one blow?” 

“Bodhisattva,” said Pilgrim, “you may not recognize him, but he is a friend of the Black Bear Spirit. Yesterday he was having a 
conversation with a white-robed scholar on the grass meadow. Since they were invited to the cave of the Black Bear Spirit, who was 
going to give a Festival of the Buddha Robe to celebrate his birthday, this Daoist said that he would first go to celebrate his friend’s 
birthday today and then attend the festival tomorrow. That’s how I recognized him. He must have been on his way to celebrate the 
monster’s birthday.” “If that’s how it is, all right,” said the Bodhisattva. Pilgrim then went to pick up the Daoist and discovered that he 
was a gray wolf. The tray, which had fallen to one side, had an inscription on the bottom: “Made by Master Transcending Void.” 

When Pilgrim saw this, he laughed and said, “What luck! What luck! Old Monkey will benefit; the Bodhisattva will save some 
energy. This monster may be said to have made a confession without torture, while the other monster may be destined to perish today.” 
“What are you saying, Wukong?” said the Bodhisattva. “Bodhisattva,” said Pilgrim, “I, Wukong, have a saying: plot should be met 
with plot. I don’t know whether you will listen to me or not.” “Speak up!” said the Bodhisattva. 

“Look, Bodhisattva!” said Pilgrim. “There are two magic pills on this little tray, and they are introductory gifts that we shall present 
to the monster. Beneath the tray is the five-word inscription ‘Made by Master Transcending Void,’ and this shall serve as our contact 
with the monster. If you will listen to me, I’ll give you a plan that will dispense with weapons and do away with combat. In a moment, 
the monster will meet pestilence; in the twinkling of an eye, the Buddha robe will reappear. If you do not follow my suggestion, you 
may go back to the West, and I, Wukong, will return to the East; the Buddha robe will be counted as lost, while Tripitaka Tang will 
have journeyed in vain.” 

“This monkey is pretty clever with his tongue!” said the Bodhisattva, laughing. “Hardly!” said Pilgrim. “But it is a small plan!” 
“What’s your plan?” asked the Bodhisattva. “Since the tray has this inscription beneath it,” said Pilgrim, “the Daoist himself must be 
this Master Transcending Void. If you agree with me, Bodhisattva, you can change yourself into this Daoist. I’ll take one of the pills 
and then change myself into another pill—a slightly bigger one, that is. Take this tray with the two magic pills and present them to the 
monster as his birthday gift. Let the monster swallow the bigger pill, and old Monkey will accomplish the rest. If he is unwilling to 
return the Buddha robe, old Monkey will make one—even if I have to weave it with his guts!” 

The Bodhisattva could not think of a better plan and she had to nod her head to show her approval. “Well?” said Pilgrim, laughing. 
Immediately the Bodhisattva exercised her great mercy and boundless power. With her infinite capacity for transformation, her mind 
moved in perfect accord with her will, and her will with her body: in one blurry instant, she changed into the form of the immortal 
Master Transcending Void. 

?r crane-down cloak swept by the wind, 
ith airy steps she’d pace the void. 

2 r face, aged like cypress and pine, 
lows fair, fresh features never seen, 
le moves with freedom without end, 
special self-sustaining Thus! 
sum all return to one Form, 
it from bodies perverse set free. 

When Pilgrim saw the transformation, he cried, “Marvelous, Marvelous! Is the monster the Bodhisattva, or is the Bodhisattva the 
monster?” The Bodhisattva smiled and said, “Wukong, the Bodhisattva and the monster—they both exist in a single thought. 
Considered in terms of their origin, they are all nothing.” Immediately enlightened, Pilgrim turned around and changed at once into a 

magic pill: 

rolling-pan steadying pearl — 

mnd, bright, of no known recipe. 

ised “three time threeat Mount Goulou, 

irged “six times six, ” with Shao Weng's^ help. 

ke glazed tiles and yellow gold flames 

shines with sun and mani's light. 

! coat of mercury and lead 
■is power not with ease assessed. 

The pill into which Pilgrim had changed was slightly larger than the other one. Making a mental note of it, the Bodhisattva took the 
glass tray and went straight to the entrance of the monster’s cave. She paused to look around and saw 

zep gorges, parlous cliffs, 

’ouds rising from the peaks; 

'•een pines and cypresses, 
id wind rustling in the woods, 
zep gorges, parlous cliffs: 
place truly made for monsters and not for man! 
it green pines and cypresses 
ight seem Jit for pious recluse to seek the Way. 
i e mountain has a stream, 
id the stream has water, 
current murmurs lightly as a lute 
brthy to cleanse your ears, 
le cliff has deers, 
te woods have cranes, 
here softly hums the music of the spheres 

• lift your spirit. 

i it was the bogus immortal’s luck that Bodhi came: 

• vouchsafe boundless mercy was her vow. 

After looking over the place, the Bodhisattva was secretly pleased and said to herself, “If this cursed beast could occupy such a 
mountain, it might be that he is destined to attain the Way.” Thus she was already inclined to be merciful. 

When she walked up to the cave’s entrance, some of the little demons standing guard there recognized her, saying, “Immortal 
Transcending Void has arrived.” Some went to announce her arrival, while others greeted her. Just then, the monster came bowing out 
the door, saying, “Transcending Void, you honor my humble abode with your divine presence!” “This humble Daoist,” said the 
Bodhisattva, “respectfully submits an elixir pill as a birthday gift.” After the two of them had bowed to each other, they were seated. 
The incidents of the day before were mentioned, but the Bodhisattva made no reply. Instead, she took up the tray and said, “Great 
King, please accept the humble regard of this little Daoist.” She chose the large pill and pushed it over to the monster, saying, “May the 
Great King live for a thousand years!” The monster then pushed the other pill over to the Bodhisattva, saying, “I wish to share this with 
Master Transcending Void.” After this ceremonial presentation, the monster was about to swallow it, but the pill rolled by itself right 
down his throat. It changed back into its original form and began to do physical exercises! The monster fell to the ground, while the 
Bodhisattva revealed her true form and recovered the Buddha Robe from the monster. Pilgrim then left the monster’s body through his 
nose, but fearing that the monster might still be truculent, the Bodhisattva threw a fillet on his head. As he arose, the monster did 
indeed pick up his lance to thrust at Pilgrim. The Bodhisattva, however, rose into the air and began reciting her spell. The spell worked, 
and the monster felt excruciating pain on his head; throwing away the lance, he rolled wildly all over the ground. In midair, the 
Handsome Monkey King nearly collapsed with laughter; down below the Black Bear Monster almost rolled himself to death on the 

“Cursed beast.” said the Bodhisattva, “will you now surrender?” “I surrender,” said the monster without any hesitation, “please spare 
my life!” Fearing that too much effort would have been wasted, Pilgrim wanted to strike at once. Quickly stopping him, the 
Bodhisattva said, “Don’t hurt him; I have some use for him.” Pilgrim said, “Why not destroy a monster like him, for of what use can he 
be?” “There’s no one guarding the rear of my Potalaka Mountain,” said the Bodhisattva, “and I want to take him back there to be a 
Great Mountain-Guardian God.” “Truly a salvific and merciful goddess,” said Pilgrim, laughing, “who will not hurt a single sentient 
being. If old Monkey knew a spell like that, he’d recite it a thousand times. That would finish off as many black bears as there are 
around here!” 

So, we shall tell you about the monster, who regained consciousness after along time. Convinced by the unbearable pain, he had no 
choice but to fall on his knees and beg: “Spare my life, for I’m willing to submit to Truth!” Dropping down from the blessed 
luminosity, the Bodhisattva then touched his head and gave him the commandments, telling him to wait on her, holding the lance. So it 
was with the Black Bear: 

•day his vaulting ambition is checked; 

lis time his boundless license has been curbed. 

“You may return now, Wukong,” instructed the Bodhisattva, “and serve the Tang Monk attentively. Don’t start any more trouble with 
your carelessness.” “I’m grateful that the Bodhisattva was willing to come this far to help,” said Pilgrim, “and it is my duty as disciple 
to see you back.” “You may be excused,” said the Bodhisattva. Holding the cassock. Pilgrim then kowtowed to her and left, while the 
Bodhisattva led the bear and returned to the great ocean. We have a testimonial poem: 

ispicious light surrounds the golden form: 
hat maze of colors so worthy ofpraise! 

<e shows great mercy to succor mankind, 

• reveal gold lotus as she scans the world. 

<e comes all because of scripture seeking; 
ten she withdraws, as ever chaste and pure, 
te fiend converted, she leaves for the sea; 

Buddhist regains a brocade-cassock. 


At Guanyin Hall the Tang Monk leaves his ordeal; 

At Gao Village the Great Sage casts out the monster. 

Pilgrim took leave of the Bodhisattva. Lowering the direction of his cloud, he hung the cassock on one of the fragrant cedars nearby. 
He took out his rod and fought his way into the Black Wind Cave. But where could he find even a single little demon inside? The fact 
of the matter was that when they saw the Bodhisattva’s epiphany, causing the old monster to roll all over the ground, they all scattered. 
Pilgrim, however, was not to be stopped; he piled dried wood around the several doorways in the cave and started a fire in the front and 
in the back. The whole Black Wind Cave was reduced to a “Red Wind Cave”! Picking up the cassock, Pilgrim then mounted the 
auspicious luminosity and went north. 

We now tell you about Tripitaka, who was impatiently waiting for Pilgrim’s return and wondering whether Bodhisattva had 
consented to come and help, or whether Pilgrim on some pretext had left him. He was filled with such foolish thoughts and wild 
speculations when he saw bright, rose-colored clouds approaching in the sky. Dropping at the foot of the steps and kneeling, Pilgrim 
said, “Master, the cassock is here!” 

Tripitaka was most delighted, and not one of the monks could hide his pleasure. “Good! Good!” they cried. “Now we’ve found our 
lives again!” Taking the cassock, Tripitaka said, “Wukong, when you left in the morning, you promised to come back either after 
breakfast or sometime around noon. Why do you return so late, when the sun is already setting?” Pilgrim then gave a thorough account 
of how he went to ask for the Bodhisattva’s help, and how she in her transformation had subdued the monster. When Tripitaka heard 
the account, he prepared an incense table at once and worshipped, facing south. Then he said, “Disciple, since we have the Buddha 
robe, let us pack up and leave.” “No need to rush like that,” said Pilgrim. “It’s getting late, hardly the time to travel. Let’s wait until 
tomorrow morning before we leave.” All the monks knelt down and said, “Elder Sun is right. It is getting late, and, moreover, we have 
a vow to fulfill. Now that we are all saved and the treasure has been recovered, we must redeem our vow and ask the venerable elders 
to distribute the blessing. 1 Tomorrow we shall see you off to the West.” 

“Yes, yes, that’s very good!” said Pilgrim. Look at those monks! They all emptied their pockets and presented all the valuables they 
had managed to salvage from the fire. Everyone made some contribution. They prepared some vegetarian offerings, burned paper 
money to request perpetual peace, and recited several scrolls of scriptures for the prevention of calamities and deliverance from evil. 
The service lasted until late in the evening. The next morning they saddled the horse and took up the luggage, while the monks 
accompanied their guests for a great distance before turning back. As Pilgrim led the way forward, it was the happiest time of spring. 

You see 

ie horse making light tracks on grassy turfs; 
old threads of willow swaying with fresh dew. 
taches and apricots fill the forest gay. 

■eepers grow with vigor along the way. 

lirs of sun-warmed ducks rest on sandy hanks; 

le brook’s fragrant flowers tame the butterflies. 

ius autumn goes, winter fades, and spring's half gone; 

hen will merit be made and the True Writ found? 

Master and disciple traveled for some six or seven days in the wilderness. One day, when it was getting late, they saw a village in the 
distance. “Wukong,” said Tripitaka, “look! There’s a village over there. How about asking for lodging for the night before we travel 
again tomorrow?” “Let’s wait until 1 have determined whether it is a good or bad place before we decide,” said Pilgrim. The master 
pulled in the reins as Pilgrim stared intently at the village. Truly there were 

?nse rows of bamboo fences; 
lick clusters of thatched huts, 
yscraping wild trees faced the doorways; 
ie winding brooklet reflected the houses, 
illows by the path unfurled their lovely green; 

•agrant were the flowers blooming in the yard, 
this time of twilight fast fading, 
ie birds chattered every where in the woods. 

: kitchen smoke arose, 

ittle returned on every lane and path, 

•u saw, too, well-fed pigs and chickens sleeping by the house's edge, 
id the old, sotted neighbor coming with a song. 

After surveying the area, Pilgrim said, “Master, you may proceed. It appears to be a village of good families, where it will be 
appropriate for us to seek shelter.” 

The priest urged the white horse on, and they arrived at the beginning of a lane heading into the village, where they saw a young 
man wearing a cotton head-wrap and a blue jacket. He had an umbrella in his hand and a bundle on his back; his trousers were rolled 
up, and he had on his feet a pair of straw sandals with three loops. He was striding along the street in a resolute manner when Pilgrim 
grabbed him, saying, “Where are you going? I have a question for you: what is this place?” Struggling to break free, the man protested, 
“Isn’t there anyone else here in the village? Why must you pick me for your question?” “Patron,” said Pilgrim genially, “don’t get 
upset. ‘Helping others is in truth helping yourself.’ What’s so bad about your telling me the name of this place? Perhaps I can help you 
with your problems.” Unable to break out of Pilgrim’s grip, the man was so infuriated that he jumped about wildly. “Jinxed! I’m 
jinxed!” he cried. “No end to the grievances I have suffered at the hands of my family elders and I still have to run into this baldheaded 
fellow and suffer such indignity from him!” 

“If you have the ability to pry open my hand,” said Pilgrim, “I’ll let you go.” The man twisted left and right without any success: it 
was as if he had been clamped tight with a pair of iron tongs. He became so enraged that he threw away his bundle and his umbrella; 
with both hands, he rained blows and scratches on Pilgrim. With one hand steadying his luggage, Pilgrim held off the man with the 

other, and no matter how hard the man tried, he could not scratch or even touch Pilgrim at all. The more he fought, the firmer was 
Pilgrim’s grip, so that the man was utterly exasperated. 

“Wukong,” said Tripitaka, “isn’t someone coming over there? You can ask someone else. Why hang onto him like that? Let the man 
go.” “Master, you don’t understand,” said Pilgrim, laughing. “If I ask someone else, all the fun will be gone. I have to ask him if, as the 
saying goes, ‘there’s going to be any business’!” Seeing that it was fruitless to struggle any more, the man said finally, “This place is 
called the Mr. Gao Village in the territory of the Kingdom of Qoco. Most of the families here in the village are sumamed Gao, and 
that’s why the village is so called. Now please let me go.” “You are hardly dressed for a stroll in the neighborhood,” said Pilgrim, “so 
tell me the truth. Where are you going, and what are you doing anyway? Then I’ll let you go.” 

The man had little alternative but to speak the truth. “I’m a member of the family of old Mr. Gao, and my name is Gao Cai. Old Mr. 
Gao has a daughter, his youngest, in fact, who is twenty years old and not yet betrothed. Three years ago, however, a monster-spirit 
seized her and kept her as his wife. Having a monster as his son-in-law bothered old Mr. Gao terribly. He said, ‘My daughter having a 
monster as her spouse can hardly be a lasting arrangement. First, my family’s reputation is ruined, and second, I don’t even have any 
in-laws with whom we can be friends.’ All that time he wanted to have this marriage annulled, but the monster absolutely refused; he 
locked the daughter up instead in the rear building and would not permit her to see her family for nearly half a year. The old man, 
therefore, gave me several taels of silver and told me to find an exorcist to capture the monster. Since then, I have hardly rested my 
feet; I managed to turn up three or four persons, all worthless monks and impotent Daoists. None of them could subdue the monster. A 
short while ago I received a severe scolding for my incompetence, and with only half an ounce more of silver as a travel allowance, I 
was told to find a capable exorcist this time. I didn’t expect to run into you, my unlucky star, and now my journey is delayed. That’s 
what I meant by the grievances I had suffered in and out of the family, and that’s why I was protesting just now. I didn’t know you had 
this trick of holding people, which I couldn’t overcome. Now that I have told you the truth, please let me go.” 

“It’s really your luck,” said Pilgrim, “coupled with my vocation: they fit like the numbers four and six when you throw the dice! You 
needn’t travel far, nor need you waste your money. We are not worthless monks or impotent Daoists, for we really do have some 
abilities; we are most experienced, in fact, in capturing monsters. As the saying goes, ‘You have now not only a caring physician, but 
now you have cured your eyes as well!’ Please take the trouble of returning to the head of your family and tell him that we are holy 
monks sent by the Throne in the Land of the East to go worship Buddha in the Western Heaven and acquire scriptures. We are most 
capable of seizing monsters and binding fiends.” “Don’t mislead me,” said Gao Cai, “for I’ve had it up to here! If you are deceiving me 
and really don’t have the ability to take the monster, you will only cause me more grievances." Pilgrim said, “I guarantee that you 
won’t be harmed in any way. Lead me to the door of your house.” The man could not think of a better alternative; he picked up his 
bundle and umbrella and turned to lead master and disciple to the door of his house. “You two elders,” he said, “please rest yourselves 
for a moment against the hitching posts here. I’ll go in to report to my master.” Only then did Pilgrim release him. Putting down the 
luggage and dismounting from the horse, master and disciple stood and waited outside the door. 

Gao Cai walked through the main gate and went straight to the main hall in the center, but it just so happened that he ran right into 
old Mr. Gao. “You thick-skinned beast!” railed Mr. Gao. “Why aren’t you out looking for an exorcist? What are you doing back here?” 
Putting down his bundle and umbrella, Gao Cai said, “Let me humbly inform my lord. Your servant just reached the end of the street 
and ran into two monks: one riding a horse and the other hauling a load. They caught hold of me and refused to let go, asking where I 
was going. At first I absolutely refused to tell them, but they were most insistent and I had no means of freeing myself. It was only then 
that I gave them a detailed account of my lord’s affairs. The one who was holding me was delighted, saying that he would arrest the 
monster for us.” “Where did they come from?” asked old Mr. Gao. “He claimed to be a holy monk, the brother of the emperor,” said 
Gao Cai, “who was sent from the Land of the East to go worship Buddha in the Western Heaven and acquire scriptures.” “If they are 
monks who have come from such a great distance,” said old Mr. Gao, “they may indeed have some abilities. Where are they now?” 
“Waiting outside the front door,” said Gao Cai. 

Old Mr. Gao quickly changed his clothes and came out with Gao Cai to extend his welcome, crying, “Your Grace!” When Tripitaka 
heard this, he turned quickly, and his host was already standing in front of him. That old man had on his head a dark silk wrap; he wore 
a robe of Sichuan silk brocade in spring-onion white with a dark green sash, and a pair of boots made of rough steer hide. Smiling 
affably, he addressed them, saying, “Honored Priests, please accept my bow!” Tripitaka returned his greeting, but Pilgrim stood there 
unmoved. When the old man saw how hideous he looked, he did not bow to him. “Why don’t you say hello to me?” demanded 
Pilgrim. Somewhat alarmed, the old man said to Gao Cai: “Young man! You have really done me in, haven’t you? There is already an 
ugly monster in the house that we can’t drive away. Now you have to fetch this thunder-spirit to cause me more troubles!” 

“Old Gao,” said Pilgrim, “it’s in vain that you have reached such old age, for you have hardly any discernment! If you want to judge 
people by appearances, you are utterly wrong! I, old Monkey, may be ugly, but I have some abilities. I’ll capture the monster for your 
family, exorcise the fiend, apprehend that son-in-law of yours, and get your daughter back. Will that be good enough? Why all these 
mutterings about appearances!” When the old man heard this, he trembled with fear, but he managed to pull himself together 
sufficiently to say, “Please come in!” At this invitation, Pilgrim led the white horse and asked Gao Cai to pick up their luggage so that 
Tripitaka could go in with them. With no regard for manners, he tethered the horse on one of the pillars and drew up a weather-beaten 
lacquered chair for his master to be seated. He pulled over another chair and sat down on one side. “This little priest,” said old Mr. 
Gao, “really knows how to make himself at home!” “If you are willing to keep me here for half a year,” said Pilgrim, “then I’ll truly 
feel at home!” 

After they were seated, old Mr. Gao asked, “Just now my little one said that you two honored priests came from the Land of the 
East?” “Yes,” replied Tripitaka. “Your poor monk was commissioned by the court to go to the Western Heaven to seek scriptures for 
Buddha. Since we have reached your village, we would like to ask for lodging for the night. We plan to leave early tomorrow 
morning.” “So the two of you wanted lodging?” said old Mr. Gao. “Then why did you say you could catch monsters?” “Since we are 
asking for a place to stay,” said Pilgrim, “we thought we might as well catch a few monsters, just for fun! May we ask how many 
monsters there are in your house?” “My God!” exclaimed old Mr. Gao, “How many monsters could we feed? There’s only this one 
son-in-law, and we have suffered enough from him!” “Tell me everything about the monster,” said Pilgrim, “how he came to this place, 

what sort of power he has, and so forth. Start front the beginning and don’t leave out any details. Then I can catch hint for you.” 

“From ancient times,” said old Mr. Gao, “this village of ours has never had any troubles with ghosts, goblins, or fiends; in fact, my 
sole misfortune consists of not having a son. I had three daughters bom to me: the eldest is named Fragrant Orchid; the second one, 
Jade Orchid; and the third, Green Orchid. The first two since their youth had been promised to people belonging to this same village, 
but I had hoped that the youngest would take a husband who would stay with our family and consent to have his children bear our 
name. Since I have no son, he would in fact become my heir and look after me in my old age. Little did I expect that about three years 
ago, a fellow would turn up who was passably good-looking. Fie said that he came from the Fuling Mountain and that his surname was 
Zhu (Hog). Since he had neither parents nor brothers, he was willing to be taken in as a son-in-law, and I accepted him, thinking that 
someone with no other family attachment was exactly the right sort of person. When he first came into our family, he was, I must 
confess, fairly industrious and well-behaved. He worked hard to loosen the earth and plow the fields without even using a buffalo; and 
when he harvested the grains, he did the reaping without sickle or staff. He came home late in the evening and started early again in the 
morning, and to tell you the truth, we were quite happy with him. The only trouble was that his appearance began to change.” 

“In what way?” asked Pilgrim. “Well,” said old Mr. Gao, “when he first came, he was a stout, swarthy fellow, but afterwards he 
turned into an idiot with huge ears and a long snout, with a great tuft of bristles behind his head. His body became horribly coarse and 
hulking. In short, his whole appearance was that of a hog! And what an enormous appetite! For a single meal, he has to have three to 
five bushels of rice: a little snack in the morning means over a hundred biscuits or rolls. It’s a good thing he keeps a vegetarian diet; if 
he liked meat and wine, the property and estate of this old man would be consumed in half a year!” “Perhaps it’s because he’s a good 
worker,” said Tripitaka, “that he has such a good appetite.” “Even that appetite is a small problem!” said old Mr. Gao. “What is most 
disturbing is that he likes to come riding the wind and disappears again astride the fog; he kicks up stones and dirt so frequently that 
my household and my neighbors have not had a moment’s peace. Then he locked up my little girl. Green Orchid, in the back building, 
and we haven’t seen her for half a year and don’t know whether she’s dead or alive. We are certain now that he is a monster, and that’s 
why we want to get an exorcist to drive him away.” “There’s nothing difficult about that,” said Pilgrim. “Relax, old man! Tonight I’ll 
catch him for you, and I’ll demand that he sign a document of annulment and return your daughter. How’s that?” Immensely pleased, 
old Mr. Gao said, “My taking him in was a small thing, when you consider how he has mined my good reputation and how many 
relatives of ours he had alienated! Just catch him for me. Why bother about a document? Please, just get rid of him for me.” Pilgrim 
said, “It’s simple! When night falls, you’ll see the result!” 

The old man was delighted; he asked at once for tables to be set and a vegetarian feast to be prepared. When they had finished the 
meal, evening was setting in. The old man asked, “What sort of weapons and how many people do you need? We’d better prepare 
soon.” “I have my own weapon,” replied Pilgrim. The old man said, “The only thing the two of you have is that priestly staff, hardly 
something you can use to battle the monster,” whereupon Pilgrim took an embroidery needle out of his ear, held it in his hands, and 
waving it once in the wind, changed it into a golden-hooped rod with the thickness of a rice bowl. “Look at this rod,” he said to old Mr. 
Gao. “How does it compare with your weapons? Think it’ll do for the monster?” “Since you have a weapon,” said old Mr. Gao again, 
“do you need some attendants?” “No need for any attendants,” said Pilgrim. “All I ask for is some decent elderly persons to keep my 
master company and talk with him, so that I may feel free to leave him for a while. I’ll catch the monster for you and make him 
promise publicly to leave, so that you will be rid of him for good.” The old man at once asked his houseboy to send for several intimate 
friends and relatives, who soon arrived. After they were introduced, Pilgrim said, “Master, you may feel quite safe sitting here. Old 
Monkey is off!” 

Look at him! Lifting high his iron rod, he dragged old Mr. Gao along, saying, “Lead me to the back building where the monster is 
staying so that 1 may have a look.” The old man indeed took him to the door of the building in the rear. “Get a key quickly!” said 
Pilgrim. “Take a look yourself,” said old Mr. Gao. “If I could use a key on this lock, I wouldn’t need you.” Pilgrim laughed and said, 
“Dear old man! Though you are quite old, you can’t even recognize a joke! I was just teasing you a little, and you took my words 
literally.” He went forward and touched the lock: it was solidly welded with liquid copper. Annoyed, Pilgrim smashed open the door 
with one terrific blow of his rod and found it was pitch black inside. “Old Gao,” said Pilgrim, “go give your daughter a call and see if 
she is there inside.” Summoning up his courage, the old man cried, “Miss Three!” Recognizing her father’s voice, the girl replied 
faintly, “Papa! I’m over here!” His golden pupils ablaze, Pilgrim peered into the dark shadows. “How does she look?” you ask. You see 

zr cloudlike hair is unkempt and unbrushed; 
zr jadelike face is grimy and unwashed, 
lough her nature refined is unchanged, 
zr lovely image is weary and wan. 
zr cherry lips seem completely bloodless, 
id her body is both crooked and bent. 

■tilted in sorrow 
le moth-brows ^ are pallid; 
zakened by weight loss, 
le speaking voice is faint. 

She came forward, and when she saw that it was old Mr. Gao, she clutched at him and began to wail. 

“Stop crying! Stop crying!” said Pilgrim. “Let me ask you: where is the monster?” “I don’t know where he has gone,” said the girl. 
“Nowadays he leaves in the morning and comes back only after nightfall. Surrounded by cloud and fog, he comes and goes without 
ever letting me know where he is. Since he has learned that father is trying to drive him away, he takes frequent precautions; that’s why 
he comes only at night and leaves in the morning.” “No need to talk anymore,” Pilgrim said. “Old Man! Take your beloved daughter to 
the building in front, and then you can spend all the time you want with her. Old Monkey will be here waiting for him; if the monster 
doesn’t show up, don’t blame me. But if he comes at all, I'll pull out the weeds of your troubles by the roots!” With great joy, old Mr. 
Gao led his daughter to the front building. Exercising his magic might, Pilgrim shook his body and changed at once into the form of 
that girl, sitting all by herself to wait for the monster. In a little while, a gust of wind swept by, kicking up dust and stones. What a 

first it was a breeze gentle and light. 

lereafter it became gusty and strong. 

light, gentle breeze that could fill the world! 

strong, gusty wind that nothing else could stop! 

owers and willow snapped like shaken hemp; 

ees and plants were felled like uprooted crops. 

stirred up streams and seas, cowing ghosts and gods. 

fractured rocks and mountains, awing Heaven and Earth. 

ower-nibbling deer lost their homeward trail. 

•uit-picking monkeys all were gone astray, 
le seven-tiered pagoda crashed on Buddha’s head, 
ags on eight sides damaged the temple s top. 
old beams and jade pillars were rooted up. 
ke flocks of swallow flew the roofing tiles, 
te boatman lifted his oars to make a vow, 
iger to have his livestock sacrificed, 
ie local spirit abandoned his shrine. 

'■agon kings from four seas made humble bows. 

sea the ship of yaksa ran aground, 

hile half of Great Wall’s rampart was blown down. 

When the violent gust of wind had gone by, there appeared in midair a monster who was ugly indeed. With his black face covered 
with short, stubby hair, his long snout and huge ears, he wore a cotton shirt that was neither quite green nor quite blue. A sort of 
spotted cotton handkerchief was tied round his head. Said Pilgrim, smiling to himself, “So, I have to do business with a thing like 
this!” Dear Pilgrim! He neither greeted the monster, nor did he speak to him; he lay on the bed instead and pretended to be sick, 
moaning all the time. Unable to tell the true from the false, the monster walked into the room and, grabbing his “spouse,” he at once 
demanded a kiss. “He really wants to sport with old Monkey!” said Pilgrim, smiling to himself. Using a holding trick, he caught the 
long snout of that monster and gave it a sudden, violent twist, sending him crashing to the floor with a loud thud. Picking himself up, 
the monster supported himself on the side of the bed and said, “Sister, how is it that you seem somewhat annoyed with me today? 
Because I’m late, perhaps?” “I’m not annoyed!” said Pilgrim. “If not,” said that monster, “why did you give me such a fall?” “How can 
you be so boorish,” said Pilgrim, “grabbing me like that and wanting to kiss me? I don’t feel very well today; under normal conditions 
I would have been up waiting for you and would have opened the door myself. You may take off your clothes and go to sleep.” 

The fiend did not suspect anything and took off his clothes. Pilgrim jumped up and sat on the chamber pot, while the fiend climbed 
into bed. Groping around, he could not feel anyone and called out, “Sister, where have you gone? Please take off your clothes and go to 
sleep.” “You go to sleep first,” said Pilgrim, “for I have to wait until I’ve dropped my load.” The fiend indeed loosened his clothes and 
stayed in bed. Suddenly Pilgrim gave out a sigh, saying, “My luck’s pretty low!” “What’s bothering you?” said the monster. “What do 
you mean, your luck’s pretty low? It’s true that I have consumed quite a bit of food and drink since I entered your family, but I 
certainly did not take them as free meals. Look at the things I did for your family: sweeping the grounds and draining the ditches, 
hauling bricks and carrying tiles, building walls and pounding mortar, plowing the fields and raking the earth, planting seedlings of rice 
and wheat—in short, I took care of your entire estate. Now what you have on your body happens to be brocade, and what you wear as 
ornaments happens to be gold. You enjoy the flowers and fruits of four seasons, and you have fresh vegetables for the table in all eight 
periods. Whatever makes you so dissatisfied that you have to sigh and lament, saying your luck’s pretty low?” 

“It isn’t quite as you say,” said Pilgrim. “Today my parents gave me a severe scolding over the partition wall, throwing bricks and 
tiles into this place.” “What were they scolding you for?” asked the monster. Pilgrim said, “They said that since we have become 
husband and wife, you are in fact a son-in-law in their family but one who is completely without manners. A person as ugly as you is 
unpresentable: you can’t meet your brothers-in-law, nor can you greet the other relatives. Since you come with the clouds and leave 
with the fog, we really don’t know what family you belong to and what your true name is. In fact, you have ruined our family’s 
reputation and defiled our legacy. That was what they rebuked me for, and that’s why I’m upset.” “Though I am somewhat homely,” 
said the monster, “it’s no great problem if they insist on my being more handsome. We discussed these matters before when I came 
here, and I entered your family fully with your father’s consent. Why did they bring it up again today? My family is located in the 
Cloudy Paths Cave of Fuling Mountain; my surname is based on my appearance. Hence I am called Zhu (Hog), and my official name 
is Ganglie (Stiff Bristles). If they ever ask you again, tell them what I have told you.” 

“This monster is quite honest,” said Pilgrim to himself, secretly pleased. “Without torture, he has already made a plain confession; 
with his name and location clearly known, he will certainly be caught, regardless of what may happen.” Pilgrim then said to him, “My 
parents are trying to get an exorcist here to arrest you.” “Go to sleep! Go to sleep!” said the monster, laughing. “Don’t mind them at 
all! I know as many transformations as the number of stars in the Heavenly Ladle, J and I own a nine-pronged muckrake. Why should I 
fear any exorcist, monk, or Daoist priest? Even if your old man were pious enough to be able to get the Monster-Routing Patriarch to 
come down from the Ninefold Heaven, I could still claim to have been an old acquaintance of his. And he wouldn’t dare do anything to 

“But they were saying that they hoped to invite someone by the name of Sun,” said Pilgrim, “the so-called Great Sage, Equal to 
Heaven, who caused havoc in the Celestial Palace five hundred years ago. They were going to ask him to come catch you.” When the 
monster heard this name, he became rather alarmed. “If that’s true,” he said, “I’m leaving. We can’t live as a couple anymore!” “Why 
do you have to leave so suddenly?” asked Pilgrim. “You may not know,” said the monster, “that that BanHorsePlague who caused such 
turmoil in Heaven has some real abilities. I fear that I ant no match for hint, and losing my reputation is not my form!” 

When he had finished speaking, he slipped on his clothes, opened the door, and walked right out. Pilgrim grabbed him, and with one 
wipe of his own face he assumed his original form, shouting: “Monster, where do you think you’re going? Take a good look and see 
who I am!” The monster turned around and saw the protruding teeth, the gaping mouth, the fiery eyes, the golden pupils, the pointed 
head, and the hairy face of Pilgrim—virtually a living thunder god! He was so horrified that his hands became numb and his feet grew 
weak. With a loud ripping sound, he tore open his shirt and broke free of Pilgrim’s clutch by changing into a violent wind. Pilgrim 
rushed forward and struck mightily at the wind with his iron rod; the monster at once transformed himself into myriad shafts of 
flaming light and fled toward his own mountain. Mounting the clouds. Pilgrim pursued hint, crying, “Where are you running to? If you 
ascend to Heaven, I’ll chase you to the Palace of the Polestar, and if you go down into the Earth, I'll follow you into the heart of Hell!” 
Good Heavens! 


At Cloudy Paths Cave, Wukong takes in 8 Rules; 

At Pagoda Mountain, Tripitaka receives the Heart Sutra. 

We were telling you about the flaming light of the monster, who was fleeing, while the Great Sage riding the rosy clouds followed 
right behind. As they were thus proceeding, they came upon a tall mountain, where the monster gathered together the fiery shafts of 
light and resumed his original form. Racing into a cave, he took out a nine-pronged muckrake to fight. “Lawless monster!” shouted 
Pilgrim. “What region are you from, fiend, and how do you know old Monkey’s names? What abilities do you have? Make a full 
confession quickly and your life may be spared!” “So you don’t know my powers!” said that monster. “Come up here and brace 
yourself! I'll tell you! 

y mind was dim since the time of youth; 
ways I loved my indolence and sloth, 
zither nursing nature nor seeking the Real, ^ 
tossed my days deluded and confused, 
net a true immortal suddenly 
ho sat and spoke to me of cold and heat A 
epent, ’he said, ‘and cease your worldly way: 

■om taking life accrues a boundless curse, 
ne day when the Great Limit ends your lot, 

)r eight woes and three ways^ you ’ll grieve too late!' 
istened and turned my will to mend my ways: 
teard, repented, and sought the wondrous rune. 

> fate my teacher he became at once, 
anting out passes keyed to Heav ’n and Earth, 
ught to forge the Great Pill Nine Times Reversed A 
vorked without pause through day and night 1 

• reach Mud-Pill Palace^ topping my skull 
id Jetting-Spring Points^ on soles of my feet, 
ith kidney brine flooding the Floral Pool, ^ 
y Cinnabar FielcP was thus warmly nursed, 
iby and Fair Girl^ mated as yin and yang; 

‘ad and mercury mixed as sun and moon, 
concord Li-dragon and Kan-tigeA ^ used, 
le spirit turtle sucked dry the gold crow's blood. ^ 
hree flowers joined on top, the root reclaimed; 

'ive breaths faced their source and all freely flowed. 

y merit done, 1 ascended on high, 

et by pairs of immortals from the sky. 

idiant pink clouds arose beneath my feet; 

ith light, sound frame Ifaced the Golden Arch. 

te Jade Emperor gave a banquet for gods 

ho sat in rows according to their ranks. 

ade a marshal of the Celestial Stream, 

ook command of both sailors and ships. 

’cause Queen Mother gave the Peaches Feast — 
hen she met her guests at the Jasper Pool — 
y mind turned hazy for I got dead drunk, 
shameless rowdy reeling left and right, 
ildly I barged into Vast Cold Palace ' ^ 
here the charming fairy received me in. 
hen I saw her face that would snare one's soul, 
y carnal itch of old could not be stopped! 
ithout regard for manners or for rank, 

\rabbed Miss Chang 'e ^ ^ asking her to bed. 

)r three or four times she rejected me: 
iding east and west, she was sore annoyed, 
y passion sky-high I roared like thunder, 
most toppling the arch of Heaven's gate, 
spec tor General ^ told the Emperor Jade; 
vas destined that day to meet my fate, 
le Vast Cold completely enclosed airtight 
ft me no way to run or to escape, 
ten I was caught by the various gods, 
idaunted still, for wine was in my heart, 
mnd and taken to see the Emperor Jade, 

> law I should have been condemned to death, 
was Venus the Gold Star, Mr. Li, 

ho left the ranks and knelt to beg for me. 
y punishment changed to two thousand blows, 
y flesh was torn; my bones did almost crack, 
ive! I was banished from Heaven’s gate 
1 make my home beneath the Fuling Mount. 
i errant womb’s my sinful destination: 
iff-Bristle Hog’s my worldly appellation!” 

When Pilgrim heard this, he said, “So you are actually the Water God of the Heavenly Reeds, who came to earth. Small wonder you 
knew old Monkey’s name.” “Curses!” cried the monster. “You Heaven-defying BanHorsePlague! When you caused such turmoil that 
year in Heaven, you had no idea how many of us had to suffer because of you. And here you are again to make life miserable for 
others! Don’t give me any lip! Have a taste of my rake!” Pilgrim, of course, was unwilling to be tolerant; lifting high his rod, he struck 
at the monster’s head. The two of them thus began a battle in the middle of the mountain, in the middle of the night. What a fight! 

Igrim's gold pupils blazed like lightning; 

le monster's round eyes flashed like silver blooms. 

us one spat out colored fog: 

mt one spouted crimson mist. 

le spouted crimson mist lit up the dark; 

le colored fog spat out made bright the night. 

le golden-hooped rod; 

le nine-pronged muckrake. 

vo true heroes most worthy of acclaim: 

ne was the Great Sage descended to earth; 

ne was a Marshal who came from Heaven. 

mt one, for indecorum, became a monster; 

tis one, to flee his ordeal, bowed to a monk. 

le rake lunged like a dragon wielding his claws: 

le rod came like a phoenix darting through flowers. 

mt one said: “Your breaking up a marriage is like patricide!” 

lis one said: “You should be arrested for raping a young girl! ” 

\ch idle words! 

\ch wild clamor! 

ick and forth the rod blocked the rake. 

ley fought till dawn was about to break, 

hen the monster’s two arms felt sore and numb. 

From the time of the second watch, the two of them fought until it was growing light in the east. That monster could hold out no longer 
and fled in defeat. He changed once more into a violent gust of wind and went straight back to his cave, shutting the doors tightly and 
refusing to come out. Outside the cave, Pilgrim saw a large stone tablet, which had on it the inscription, “Cloudy Paths Cave.” By now, 
it was completely light. Realizing that the monster was not going to come out. Pilgrim thought to himself, “I fear that Master may be 
anxiously waiting for me. I may as well go back and see him before returning here to catch the monster.” Mounting the clouds, he soon 
arrived at Old Gao village. 

We shall now tell you about Tripitaka, who chatted about past and present with the other elders and did not sleep all night. He was 
just wondering why Pilgrim had not shown up, when suddenly the latter dropped down into the courtyard. Straightening out his clothes 
and putting away his rod, Pilgrim went up to the hall, crying, “Master! I’ve returned!” The various elders hurriedly bowed low, saying, 
“Thank you for all the trouble you have been to!” “Wukong, you were gone all night,” said Tripitaka. “If you captured the monster, 
where is he now?” “Master,” said Pilgrim, “that monster is no fiend of this world, nor is he a strange beast of the mountains. He is 
actually the incarnation of the Marshal of the Heavenly Reeds. Because he took the wrong path of rebirth, his appearance assumed the 
form of a wild hog: but actually his spiritual nature has not been extinguished. He said that he derived his surname from his 
appearance, and he went by the name of Zhu Ganglie. When I attacked him with my rod in the rear building, he tried to escape by 
changing into a violent gust of wind; I then struck at the wind, and he changed into shafts of flaming light and retreated to his mountain 
cave. There he took out a nine-pronged muckrake to do battle with old Monkey for a whole night. Just now when it grew light, he 
could fight no longer and fled into the cave, shutting the doors tightly and not coming out any more. I wanted to break down the door 
to finish him off, but I was afraid that you might be waiting here anxiously. That’s why I came back first to give you some news.” 

When he had finished speaking, old Mr. Gao came forward and knelt down, saying, "Honored Priest, I have no alternative but to say 
this. Though you have chased him away, he might come back here after you leave. What should we do then? I may as well ask you to 
do us the favor of apprehending him, so that we shall not have any further worries. This old man, I assure you, will not be ungrateful or 
unkind; there will be a generous reward for you. I shall ask my relatives and friends to witness the drawing up of a document, whereby 
I shall divide my possessions and my property equally with you. All I want is to pluck up the trouble by the root, so that the pure virtue 
of our Gao family will not be tainted.” 

“Aren’t you being rather demanding, old man?” said Pilgrim, laughing. “That monster did tell me that, although he has an enormous 
appetite and has consumed a good deal of food and drink from your family, he has also done a lot of good work for you. Much of what 
you were able to accumulate these last few years you owe to his strength, so that he really hasn’t taken any free meals from you. Why 
ever do you want to have him driven away? According to him, he is a god who has come down to earth and who has helped your 
family earn a living. Moreover, he has not harmed your daughter in any way. Such a son-in-law, I should think, would be a good match 
for your daughter and your family. So, what’s all this about ruining your family’s reputation and damaging your standing in the 
community? Why not really accept him as he is?” 

“Honored Priest,” said old Mr. Gao, “though this matter may not offend public morals, it does leave us with a bad name. Like it or 
not, people will say, ‘The Gao family has taken in a monster as a son-in-law! ’ How can one stand remarks of that kind?” “Wukong,” 
said Tripitaka, “if you have worked for him all this while, you might as well see him through to a satisfactory conclusion.” Pilgrim 
said, “I was testing him a little, just for fun. This time when I go. I’ll apprehend the monster for certain and bring him back for you all 
to see. Don’t worry, old Gao! Take good care of my master. I’m off!” 

He said he was off, and the next instant he was completely out of sight. Bounding up that mountain, he arrived at the cave’s 
entrance; a few strokes of the iron rod reduced the doors to dust. “You overstuffed coolie!” he shouted, “Come out quickly and fight 
with old Monkey!” Huffing and puffing, the monster was lying in the cave and trying to catch his breath. When he heard his doors 
being struck down and heard himself called “an over-stuffed coolie,” he could not control his wrath. Dragging his rake, he pulled 
himself together and ran out. “A BanHorsePlague like you,” he yelled, “is an absolute pest! What have I done to you that you have to 
break my doors to pieces? Go and take a look at the law: a man who breaks someone’s door and enters without permission may be 
guilty of trespassing, a crime punishable by death!” “Idiot!” said Pilgrim, laughing. "I may have broken down the door, but my case is 
still a defensible one. But you, you took a girl from her family by force—without using the proper matchmakers and witnesses, without 
presenting the proper gifts of money and wine. If you ask me, you are the one guilty of a capital crime!” “Enough of this idle talk,” 
said the monster, “and watch out for old Hog’s rake!” Parrying the rake with his rod, Pilgrim said, “Isn’t that rake of yours just 
something you use as a regular farmhand to plow the fields or plant vegetables for the Gao family? Why on earth should I fear you?” 

“You have made a mistake!” said the monster. “Is this rake a thing of this world? Just listen to my recital: 

iis is divine ice steel greatly refined, 
dished so highly that it glows and shines. 

tozi wielded the large hammer and tong; 
ars himself added charcoals piece by piece, 
ve Kings of Five Quarters applied their schemes; 
velve Gods of Time expended all their skills, 
tey made nine prongs like dangling teeth of jade, 
id brass rings were cast with dropping gold leaves, 
zcked with five stars and six brightnesses, 
frame conformed to eight spans and four climes. 

: whole length set to match the cosmic scheme 

rcorded with yin yang, with the sun and moon: 

x-Diagram Gods etched as Heaven ruled; ^ ^ 

ght-Trigram Stars stood in ranks and files. 

tey named this the High Treasure Golden Rake, 

gift for Jade Emperor to guard his court. 

nee I learned to be a great immortal, 

icoming someone with longevity, 

vas made Marshal of the Heavenly Reeds 

id given this rake, a sign of royal grace. 

hen it's held high, there ’ll be bright flames and light; 

hen it s brought low, strong wind blows down white snow. 

le warriors of Heaven all fear it; 

te Ten Kings of Hell all shrink from it. 

•e there such weapons among mankind? 
this wide world there's no such fine steel, 
changes its form after my own wish, 
sing and falling after my command. 

>e kept it with me for several years, 
daily comrade I never parted from. 

>e stayed with it right through the day's three meals, 

yr left it when I went to sleep at night. 

wrought it along to the Peaches Feast, 

id with it I attended Heaven's court. 

nee I wrought evil relying on wine, 

nee trusting my strength I displayed my fraud, 

zaven sent me down to this world of dust, 

here in my next life I would sin some more. 

ith wicked mind I ate men in my cave, 

eased to be married at the Gao Village. 

lis rake can overturn sea dragons 'and turtles’ lairs 

id rake up mountain dens of tigers and wolves. 

I other weapons there s no need to name, 
ily my rake is of most fitting fame. 

1 win in battle? Why, it’s no hard thing! 
id making merit? It need not be said! 

•u may have a bronze head, an iron brain, and a full steel frame. 

7 rake till your soul melts and your spirit leaks! ” 

When Pilgrim heard these words, he put away his iron rod and said, “Don’t brag too much. Idiot! Old Monkey will stretch out his 
head right here, and you can give him a blow. See if his soul melts and his spirit leaks!” The monster did indeed raise his rake high and 
bring it down with all his might; with a loud bang, the rake made sparks as it bounced back up. But the blow did not make so much as 
a scratch on Pilgrim’s head. The monster was so astounded that his hands turned numb and his feet grew weak. He mumbled, “What a 
head! What a head!” “You didn’t know about this, did you?” said Pilgrim. “When I caused such turmoil in Heaven by stealing the 
magic pills, the immortal peaches, and the imperial wine, I was captured by the Little Sage Erlang and taken to the Polestar Palace. The 
various celestial beings chopped me with an ax, pounded me with a bludgeon, cut me with a scimitar, jabbed me with a sword, burned 
me with fire, and struck me with thunder—all this could not hurt me one whit. Then I was taken by Laozi and placed in his eight- 
trigram brazier, in which I was refined by divine fire until I had fiery eyes and diamond pupils, a bronze head and iron arms. If you 
don’t believe me, give me some more blows and see whether it hurts me at all.” 

“Monkey,” said the monster, “I remember that at the time you were causing trouble in Heaven, you lived in the Water-Curtain Cave 
of the Flower-Fruit Mountain, in the Aolai Country of the East Purvavideha Continent. Your name hasn’t been heard of for a long time. 
How is it that you suddenly turn up at this place to oppress me? Could my father-in-law have gone all that way to ask you to come 
here?” “Your father-in-law did not go to fetch me,” said Pilgrim. “It’s old Monkey who turned from wrong to right, who left the Daoist 
to follow the Buddhist. I am now accompanying the royal brother of the Great Tang Emperor in the Land of the East, whose name is 
Tripitaka, Master of the Law. He is on his way to the Western Heaven to seek scriptures front Buddha. We passed through the Gao 
Village and asked for lodging; old man Gao then brought up the subject of his daughter and asked me to rescue her and to apprehend 
you, you overstuffed coolie!” 

Hearing this, the monster threw away his muckrake and said with great affability, “Where is the scripture pilgrim? Please take the 
trouble of introducing me to him.” “Why do you want to see him?” asked Pilgrim. The monster said, “I was a convert of the 
Bodhisattva Guanshiyin, who commanded me to keep a vegetarian diet here and to wait for the scripture pilgrim. I was to follow him 
to the Western Heaven to seek scriptures from the Buddha, so that I might atone for my sins with my merit and regain the fruits of 
Truth. I have been waiting for a number of years without receiving any further news. Since you have been made his disciple, why 
didn’t you mention the search for scriptures in the first place? Why did you have to unleash your violence and attack me right at my 
own door?” 

“Don’t try to soften me with deception,” said Pilgrim, “thinking that you can escape that way. If you are truly sincere about 
accompanying the Tang Monk, you must face Heaven and swear that you are telling the truth. Then I’ll take you to see my master.” At 
once the monster knelt down and kowtowed as rapidly as if he were pounding rice with his head. “Amitabha,” he cried, “Namo 
Buddha! If I am not speaking the truth in all sincerity, let me be punished as one who has offended Heaven—let me be hewn to 

Hearing him swear such an oath. Pilgrim said, “All right! You light a fire and bum up this place of yours; then I’ll take you with 
me.” The monster accordingly dragged in bunches of rushweed and thorns and lighted the fire; the Cloudy Paths Cave soon looked like 
a derelict potter’s kiln. “I have no other attachment,” he said to Pilgrim. “You can take me away.” “Give me your muckrake and let me 

hold it,” said Pilgrim, and our monster at once handed it over. Yanking out a piece of hair, Pilgrim blew onto it and cried, “Change!” It 
changed into a three-ply hemp rope with which he prepared to tie up the monster’s hands. Putting his anns behind his back, the 
monster did nothing to stop himself from being bound. Then Pilgrim took hold of his ear and dragged him along, crying, “Hurry! 

“Gently, please!” pleaded the monster. “You are holding me so roughly, and my ear is hurting!” “I can’t be any gentler,” said 
Pilgrim, “for I can’t worry about you now. As the saying goes, ‘The nicer the pig, the nastier the grip!’ After you have seen my master 
and proved your worth, I’ll let you go.” Rising up to a distance halfway between cloud and fog, they headed straight for the Gao 
Family Village. We have a poem as a testimony: 19 

mng is metal’s nature to vanquish wood: 
ind Monkey has the Wood Dragon subdued, 
ith metal and wood both obedient as one, 
l their love and virtue will grow and show, 
ne guest and one hosP’® there s nothing between; 
tree matings, three unions — there’s great mystery P" ^ 
iture and feelings gladly fused as Last and First 
)th will surely be enlightened in the West. 

in a moment they had arrived at the village. Grasping the rake and pulling at the monster’s ear, Pilgrim said, “Look at the one sitting 
in a most dignified manner up there in the main hall: that’s my master.” When old Mr. Gao and his relatives suddenly saw Pilgrim 
dragging by the ear a monster who had his hands bound behind his back, they all gladly left their seats to meet them in the courtyard. 
The old man cried, “Honored Priest! There’s that son-in-law of mine.” Our monster went forward and fell on his knees, kowtowing to 
Tripitaka and saying, “Master, your disciple apologizes for not coming to meet you. If I had known earlier that my master was staying 
in my father-in-law’s house, I would have come at once to pay my respects, and none of these troubles would have befallen me.” 
“Wukong,” said Tripitaka, “how did you manage to get him here to see me?” Only then did Pilgrim release his hold. Using the handle 
of the rake to give the monster a whack, he shouted, “Idiot! Say something!” The monster gave a full account of how the Bodhisattva 
had converted him. 

Greatly pleased, Tripitaka said at once, “Mr. Gao, may I borrow your incense table?” Old Mr. Gao took it out immediately, and 
Tripitaka lighted the incense after purifying his hands. He bowed toward the south, saying, “I thank the Bodhisattva for her holy 
grace!” The other elders all joined in the worship by adding incense, after which Tripitaka resumed his seat in the main hall and asked 
Wukong to untie the monster. Pilgrim shook his body to retrieve his hair, and the rope fell off by itself. Once more the monster bowed 
to Tripitaka, declaring his intention to follow him to the West, and then bowed also to Pilgrim, addressing him as “elder brother” 
because he was the senior disciple. 

“Since you have entered my fold and have decided to become my disciple,” said Tripitaka, “let me give you a religious name so that 
1 may address you properly.” “Master,” said the monster, “the Bodhisattva already laid hands on my head and gave me the 
commandments and a religious name, which is Zhu Wuneng (Awake to Power).” “Good! Good!” said Tripitaka, laughing. “Your elder 
brother is named Wukong and you are called Wuneng; your names are well in accord with the emphasis of our denomination.” 
“Master,” said Wuneng, “since I received the commandments from the Bodhisattva, I was completely cut off from the five forbidden 
viands and the three undesirable foods. I maintained a strict vegetarian diet in my father-in-law’s house, never touching any forbidden 
food. Now that I have met my master today, let me be released from my vegetarian vow.” “No, no!” said Tripitaka. “Since you have 
not eaten the five forbidden viands and the three undesirable foods, let me give you another name. Let me call you Eight Rules.” 23 
Delighted, Idiot said, “I shall obey my master.” For this reason, he was also called Zhu Eight Rules. 

When old Mr. Gao saw the happy ending of this whole affair, he was more delighted than ever. He ordered his houseboys 
immediately to prepare a feast to thank the Tang Monk. Eight Rules went forward and tugged at him, saying, “Papa, please ask my 
humble wife to come out and greet the granddads and uncles. How about it?” “Worthy brother!” said Pilgrim, laughing. “Since you 
have embraced Buddhism and become a monk, please don’t ever mention ‘your humble wife’ again. There may be a married Daoist in 
this world, but there’s no such monk, is there? Let’s sit down, rather, and have a nice vegetarian meal. We’ll have to start off soon for 
the West.” 

Old Mr. Gao set the tables in order and invited Tripitaka to take the honored seat in the middle: Pilgrim and Eight Rules sat on both 
sides while the relatives took the remaining seats below. Mr. Gao opened a bottle of dietary wine and filled a glass: he sprinkled a little 
of the wine on the ground to thank Heaven and Earth before presenting the glass to Tripitaka. “To tell you the truth, aged sir,” said 
Tripitaka, “this poor monk has been a vegetarian from birth. I have not touched any kind of forbidden food since childhood.” “I know 
the reverend teacher is chaste and pure,” said old Mr. Gao, “and I did not dare bring forth any forbidden foodstuff. This wine is made 
for those who maintain a vegetarian diet: there’s no harm in your taking a glass.” “I just don’t dare use wine,” said Tripitaka. “for the 
prohibition of strong drink is a monk’s first commandment.” Alarmed, Wuneng said, “Master, though I kept a vegetarian diet, I didn’t 
cut out wine.” “Though my capacity is not great,” said Wukong, “and I’m not able to handle more than a crock or so, I haven’t 
discontinued the use of wine either.” “In that case,” said Tripitaka, “you two brothers may take some of this pure wine. But you are not 
permitted to get drunk and cause trouble.” So the two of them took the first round before taking their seats again to enjoy the feast. We 
cannot tell you in full what a richly laden table that was, and what varieties of delicacies were presented. 

After master and disciples had been feted, old Mr. Gao took out a red lacquered tray bearing some two hundred taels of gold and 
silver in small pieces, which were to be presented to the three priests for travel expenses. There were, moreover, three outer garments 
made of fine silk. Tripitaka said, “We are mendicants who beg for food and drink from village to village. How could we accept gold, 
silver, and precious clothing?” 

Coming forward and stretching out his hand. Pilgrim took a handful of the money, saying, “Gao Cai, yesterday you took the trouble 
to bring my master here, with the result that we made a disciple today. We have nothing to thank you with. Take this as remuneration 
for being a guide; perhaps you can use it to buy a few pairs of straw sandals. If there are any more monsters, turn them over to me and 
Ell truly be grateful to you.” Gao Cai took the money and kowtowed to thank Pilgrim for his reward. Old Mr. Gao then said, “If the 

masters do not want the silver and gold, please accept at least these three simple garments, which are but small tokens of our 
goodwill.” “If those of us who have left the family,” said Tripitaka again, “accept the bribe of a single strand of silk, we may fall into 
ten thousand kalpas from which we may never recover. It is quite sufficient that we take along the leftovers from the table as 
provisions on our way.” Eight Rules spoke up from the side: “Master, Elder Brother, you may not want these things. But I was a son- 
in-law in this household for several years, and the payment for my services should be worth more than three stones of rice! Father, my 
shirt was tom by Elder Brother last night; please give me a cassock of blue silk. My shoes are worn also, so please give me a good pair 
of new shoes.” When old Mr. Gao heard that, he dared not refuse; a new pair of shoes and a cassock were purchased at once so that 
Eight Rules could dispose of the old attire. 

Swaggering around, our Eight Rules spoke amiably to old Mr. Gao, saying, “Please convey my humble sentiments to my mother-in- 
law, my great-aunt, my second aunt, and my uncle-in-law, and all my other relatives. Today I am going away as a monk, and please do 
not blame me if I cannot take leave of them in person. Father, do take care of my better half. If we fail in our quest for scriptures, I’ll 
return to secular life and live with you again as your son-in-law.” “Coolie!” shouted Pilgrim. “Stop babbling nonsense!” “It’s not 
nonsense,” said Eight Rules. “Sometimes I fear that things may go wrong, and then I could end up unable either to be a monk or to 
take a wife, losing out on both counts.” “Less of this idle conversation!” said Tripitaka. “We must hurry up and leave.” They packed 
their luggage, and Eight Rules was told to carry the load with a pole. Tripitaka rode on the white horse, while Pilgrim led the way with 
the iron rod across his shoulders. The three of them took leave of old Mr. Gao and his relatives and headed toward the West. We have a 
poem as testimony: 

ie earth ’s mist-shrouded, the trees appear tall, 
le Buddha-son of Tang court ever toils. 

? eats in need rice begged from many homes; 
z wears when cold a robe patched a thousandfold, 
oldfast at the breast the Horse of the Will! 
ie Mind-Monkey is sly—let him not wail! 
iture one with feelings, causes all joined ^— 
ie moon's full of gold light when hair is shorn ^ 

The three of them proceeded toward the West, and for about a month it was an uneventful journey. When they crossed the boundary of 
Qoco, they looked up and saw a tall mountain. Tripitaka reined in his horse and said, “Wukong, Wuneng, there’s a tall mountain ahead. 
We must approach it with care.” “It’s nothing!” said Eight Rules. “This mountain is called the Pagoda Mountain and a Crow’s Nest 
Chan Master lives there, practicing austerities. Old Hog has met him before.” “What’s his business?” said Tripitaka. “He’s fairly 
accomplished in the Way,” said Eight Rules, “and he once asked me to practice austerities with him. But I didn’t go, and that was the 
end of the matter.” 

As master and disciple conversed, they soon arrived at the mountain. What a splendid mountain! You see 

mth of it, blue pines, jade-green junipers; 

~>rth of it, green willows, red peach trees, 
clamorous din: 

ie mountain fowls are conversing. 

fluttering dance: 

mortal cranes unite in flying. 

dense fragrance: 

le flowers in a thousand colors. 

manifold green: 

Iverse plants in forms exotic, 
the stream green water flows bubbling; 
ifore the clifffloat petals of hallowed cloud, 
uly a place of rare beauty, a well-secluded spot; 
fence is all, not a man to be seen. 

As the master sat on his horse, peering into the distance, he saw on top of the fragrant juniper tree a nest made of dried wood and 
grass. To the left, musk deer carried flowers in their mouths; to the right, mountain monkeys were presenting fruits. At the top of the 
tree, blue and pink phoenixes sang together, soon to be joined by a congregation of black cranes and brightly colored pheasants. “Isn’t 
that the Crow’s Nest Chan Master?” asked Eight Rules, pointing. Tripitaka urged on his horse and rode up to the tree. 

We now tell you about that Chan Master, who, seeing the three of them approach, left his nest and jumped down from the tree. 
Tripitaka dismounted and prostrated himself. Raising him up with his hand, the Chan Master said, “Holy Monk, please arise! Pardon 
me for not coming to meet you.” “Old Chan Master,” said Eight Rules, “please receive my bow!” “Aren’t you the Zhu Ganglie of the 
Fuling Mountain?” asked the Chan Master, startled. “How did you have the good fortune to journey with the holy monk?” “A few 
years back,” said Eight Rules, “I was beholden to the Bodhisattva Guanyin for persuading me to follow him as a disciple.” “Good! 
Good! Good!” said the Chan Master, greatly pleased. Then he pointed to Pilgrim and asked, “Who is this person?” “How is it that the 
old Chan recognizes him,” said Pilgrim, laughing, “and not me?” “Because I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you,” said the Chan 
Master. Tripitaka said, “He is my eldest disciple. Sun Wukong.” Smiling amiably, the Chan Master said, “How impolite of me!” 

Tripitaka bowed again and asked about the distance to the Great Thunderclap Temple of the Western Heaven. “It’s very far away! 
Very far away!” said the Chan Master. “What’s more, the road is a difficult one, filled with tigers and leopards.” With great 
earnestness, Tripitaka asked again, "Just how far is it?” “Though it may be very far,” answered the Chan Master, “you will arrive there 
one day. But all those main hindrances along the way are hard to dispel. I have a Heart Sutra here in this scroll; it has fifty-four 
sentences containing two hundred and seventy characters. When you meet these mar a hindrances, recite the sutra and you will not 
suffer any injury or harm.” Tripitaka prostrated himself on the ground and begged to receive it, whereupon the Chan Master imparted 
the sutra by reciting it orally. The sutra said: 


When the Bodhisattva Guanzizai-^ was moving in the deep course of the Perfection of Wisdom, she saw that the five heaps - ^ were but emptiness, and she transcended all sufferings. Sanputra, form is 
no different from emptiness, emptiness no different from form; form is emptiness, and emptiness is form. Of sensations, perceptions, volition, and consciousness, the same is also true. Sanputra, it is 
thus that all dharmas are but empty appearances, neither produced nor destroyed, neither defiled nor pure, neither increasing nor decreasing. This is why in emptiness there are no forms and no 
sensations, perceptions, volition, or consciousness; no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind; no form, sound, smell, taste, touch, or object of mind. There is no realm of sight [and so forth], until we 

reach the realm of no mind-consciousness; there is no ignorance, nor is there extinction of ignorance [and so forth], until we reach the stage where there is no old age and death, nor is there the 
extinction of old age and death; there is no suffering, annihilation, or way; there is no cognition or attainment. Because there is nothing to be attained, the mind of the Bodhisattva, by virtue of reliance 
upon the Perfection of Wisdom, has no hindrances: no hindrances, and therefore, no terror or fear; he is far removed from error and delusion, and finally reaches Nirvana. All the Buddhas of the three 
worlds^ rely on the Perfection of Wisdom, and that is why they attain the ultimate and complete enlightenment. Know, therefore, that the Perfection of Wisdom is a great divine spell, a spell of great 
illumination, a spell without superior, and a spell without equal. It can do away with all sufferings—such is the unvarnished truth. Therefore, when the Spell of the Perfection of Wisdom is to be spoken, 
say this spell: “Gate! Gate! Paragate! Parasamgate! Bodhisvaha!”^ 

Now because that master of the law from the Tang court was spiritually prepared, he could remember the Heart Sutra after hearing it 
only once. Through him, it has come down to us this day. It is the comprehensive classic for the cultivation of Perfection, the very 
gateway to becoming a Buddha. 

After the transmission of the sutra, the Chan Master trod on the cloudy luminosity and was about to return to his crow’s nest. 
Tripitaka, however, held him back and earnestly questioned him again about the condition of the road to the West. The Chan Master 
laughed and said: 

r he way is not too hard to walk; 
y listening to what I say. 
thousand hills and waters deep; 
aces full of goblins and snags; 
hen you reach those sky-touching cliffs, 
lar not and put your mind at rest. 

•ossing the Rub Ear Precipice, 

•u must walk with steps placed sideways, 
ke care in the Black Pine Forest; 

)x-spirits will likely bar your way. 
nffins will fill the capitals; 
onsters all mountains populate; 

Id tigers sit as magistrates; 
raying wolves act as registrars, 
ons, elephants—all called kings! 

‘opards, tigers are coachmen all! 
wild pig totes a hauling pole; 

•u ’ll meet ahead a water sprite. 

1 old stone ape of many years 
m nurses over there his spite! 
st ask that acquaintance of yours: 
ell he knows the way to the West. ” 

Hearing this, Pilgrim laughed with scorn and said, “Let’s go. Don’t ask him, ask me! That’s enough!” Tripitaka did not perceive 
what he meant. The Chan Master, changing into a beam of golden light, went straight up to his crow’s nest, while the priest bowed 
toward him to express his gratitude. Enraged, Pilgrim lifted his iron rod and thrust it upward violently, but garlands of blooming lotus 
flowers were seen together with a thousand-layered shield of auspicious clouds. Though Pilgrim might have the strength to overturn 
rivers and seas, he could not catch hold of even one strand of the crow’s nest. When Tripitaka saw this, he pulled Pilgrim back, saying, 
“Wukong, why are you jabbing at the nest of a bodhisattva like him?” “For leaving like that after abusing both my brother and me,” 
said Pilgrim. “He was speaking of the way to the Western Heaven,” said Tripitaka. “Since when did he abuse you?” 

“Didn’t you get it?” asked Pilgrim. “He said, ‘A wild pig totes a hauling pole,’ and insulted Eight Rules. ‘An old stone ape of many 
years’ ridiculed old Monkey. How else would you explain that?” “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “don’t be angry. This Chan Master 
does know the events of past and future. Let’s see if his statement, ‘You’ll meet ahead a water sprite,’ will be fulfilled or not. Let’s 
spare him and leave.” Pilgrim saw the lotus flowers and auspicious fog near the nest, and he had little alternative than to ask his master 
to mount so that they could descend from the mountain and proceed toward the West. Lo, their journey 

ms shows that in man’s world pure leisure is rare, 
it evils and ogres are rife in the hills! 


At Yellow Wind Ridge the Tang Monk meets adversity; 

In mid-mountain, 8 Rides strives to be first. 

ie dharma is born through the mind; 

'll be destroyed, too, through the mind. 

> whom it is destroyed or born, 
tat you must determine yourself, 
it is through your own mind, 
hy do others need to tell you? 

I that you need is your hard work 
• draw blood out of iron ore. 

•t a silk cord puncture your nose 
1 tie a firm knot on the void; 
isten that to the no-work tree ,' 
tat you ’d not be vicious and wild. 

;gard not the thief as your son, 
id forget all dharma and mind. 

•t not the Other deceive me: 
ith one big punch strike him out first, 
ie manifest mind's also no mind; 
anifest Law is law that’s stopped, 
hen both Bui? and Man disappear, 
ie jade-green sky is bright and clear, 
ly autumn moon’s just as round: 

•u can’t tell one from the other. 

This enigmatic gdthd was composed by Xuanzang, master of the law, after he had thoroughly mastered the Heart Sutra, which had, in 
fact, broken through the gate of his understanding. He recited it frequently, and the beam of spiritual light penetrated by itself to his 
innermost being. 

We turn now to tell you about the three travelers, who dined on the wind and rested by the waters, who clothed themselves with the 
moon and cloaked themselves with the stars on their journey. Soon, it was the scene of summer again, beneath a torrid sky. They saw 

owers gone, and butterflies cared not to linger; 

n tall trees the cicada chirp turned brazen. 

ild worms made their cocoons, fair pomegranates their fire, 

: new lilies in the ponds appeared? 

As they were traveling one day, it was growing late again when they saw a hamlet beside the mountain road. “Wukong,” said 
Tripitaka, “look at that sun setting behind the mountain, hiding its fiery orb, and the moon rising on the eastern sea, revealing an icy 
wheel. It’s a good thing that a family lives by the road up there. Let us ask for lodging for the night and proceed tomorrow.” “You are 
right!” said Eight Rules. “Old Hog is rather hungry, tool Let’s go and beg for some food at the house. Then I can regain my strength to 
pole the luggage.” 

“This family-hugging devil!” said Pilgrim. “You only left the family a few days ago, and you are already beginning to complain.” 
“Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “I’m not like you—I can’t imbibe the wind and exhale the mist. Since I began following our master 
a few days ago, I’ve been half hungry all the time. Did you know that?” Hearing this, Tripitaka said, “Wuneng, if your heart still clings 
to the family, you are not the kind of person who wants to leave it. You may as well turn back!” Idiot was so taken aback that he fell on 
his knees and said, “Master, please do not listen to the words of Elder Brother. He loves to put blame on others: I haven’t made any 
complaint, but he said that I was complaining. I'm only an honest moron, who said that I was hungry so that we could find some 
household to beg for food. Immediately he called me a family-hugging devil! Master, I received the commandments front the 
Bodhisattva and mercy from you, and that was why I was determined to serve you and go to the Western Heaven. I vow that I have no 
regrets. This is, in fact, what they call the practice of strict austerities. What do you mean. I’m not willing to leave the family?” “In that 
case,” said Tripitaka, “you may get up.” 

Leaping up with a bound. Idiot was still muttering something as he picked up the pole with the luggage. He had no choice but to 
follow his companions with complete determination up to the door of the house by the wayside. Tripitaka dismounted. Pilgrim took the 
reins, and Eight Rules put down the luggage, all standing still beneath the shade of a large tree. Holding his nine-ringed priestly staff 
and pressing down his rain hat woven of straw and rattan, Tripitaka went to the door first. He saw inside an old man reclining on a 
bamboo bed and softly reciting the name of Buddha. Tripitaka dared not speak loudly; instead, he said very slowly and quietly, 
“Patron, salutations!” The old man jumped up and at once began to straighten out his attire. He walked out of the door to return the 
greeting, saying, “Honored Priest, pardon me for not coming to meet you. Where did you come from? What are you doing at my 
humble abode?” “This poor monk,” said Tripitaka, “happens to be a priest from the Great Tang in the Land of the East. In obedience to 
an imperial decree, I am journeying to the Great Thunderclap Temple to seek scriptures from the Buddha. It was getting late when I 
arrived in your esteemed region, and I would beg for shelter for one night in your fine mansion. I beseech you to grant me this favor.” 
“You can’t go there,” said the old man, shaking his head and waving his hand, “it’s exceedingly difficult to bring scriptures back from 
the Western Heaven. If you want to do that, you might as well go the Eastern Heaven!” Tripitaka fell silent, thinking to himself, “The 
Bodhisattva clearly told me to go to the West. Why does this old man now say that I should head for the East instead? Where in the 
East would there be any scriptures?” Terribly flustered and embarrassed, he could not make any reply for a long time. 

We now tell you about Pilgrim, who had always been impulsive and mischievous. Unable to restrain himself, he went forward and 
said in a loud voice, “Old man! Though you are of such great age, you don’t have much common sense. We monks have traveled a 
great distance to come and ask you for shelter, and here you are trying to intimidate us with discouraging words. If your house is too 
small and there’s not enough space for us to sleep, we’ll sit beneath the trees for the night and not disturb you.” “Master!” said the old 
man, taking hold of Tipitaka, “you don’t say anything. But that disciple of yours with a pointed chin, shriveled cheeks, a thunder-god 

mouth, and blood-red eyes—he looks like a demon with a bad case of consumption—how dare he offend an aged person like me!” 

“An old fellow like you,” said Pilgrim with a laugh, “really has very little discernment! Those who are handsome may be good for 
their looks only! A person like me, old Monkey, may be small but tough, like the skin around a ball of ligaments!” “I suppose you must 
have some abilities,” said the old man. “I won’t boast,” said Pilgrim, “but they are passable.” “Where did you used to live?” asked the 
old man, “and why did you shave your hair to become a monk?” “The ancestral home of old Monkey,” said Pilgrim, “is at the Water- 
Curtain Cave in the Flower-Fruit Mountain, in the Aolai Country of the East Purvavideha Continent. I learned to be a monster-spirit in 
my youth, assuming the name of Wukong, and with my abilities I finally became the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven. Because I did not 
receive any acceptable appointment in Heaven, I caused great turmoil in the Celestial Palace, and incurred great calamities for myself. 
I was, however, delivered from my ordeals and have turned to Buddhism instead to seek the fruits of Truth. As a guardian of my 
master, who is in the service of the Tang court, I am journeying to the Western Heaven to worship Buddha. Why should I fear tall 
mountains, treacherous roads, wide waters, and wild waves? I, old Monkey, can apprehend monsters, subdue demons, tame tigers, 
capture dragons—in sum, I know a little about all the matters that a person needs to know to go up to Heaven or to descend into Earth. 
If by chance your household is suffering from some such disturbances as flying bricks and dancing tiles, or talking pots and doors 
opening by themselves, old Monkey can quiet things down for you.” 

When that old man heard this lengthy speech, he roared with laughter and said, “So you are really a garrulous monk who begs for 
alms from place to place!” “Only your son is garrulous!” said Pilgrim. “I’m not very talkative these days, because following my master 
on his journey is quite tiring.” “If you were not tired,” said that old man, “and if you were in the mood to chatter, you would probably 
talk me to death! Since you have such abilities, I suppose you can go to the West successfully. How many of you are there? You may 
rest in my thatched hut.” “We thank the old patron for not sending us away,” said Tripitaka; “there are three of us altogether.” “Where 
is the third member of your party?” asked the old man. “Your eyes must be somewhat dim, old man,” said Pilgrim. “Isn’t he over there 
standing in the shade?” The old man did indeed have poor sight; he raised his head and stared intently. The moment he saw Eight 
Rules with his strange face and mouth, he became so terrified that he started to rush back into the house, tripping at every step. “Shut 
the door! Shut the door!” he cried. “A monster is coming!” Pilgrim caught hold of him, saying, “Don’t be afraid, old man! He’s no 
monster; he’s my younger brother.” “Fine! Fine! Fine!” said the old man, shaking all over. “One monk uglier than another!” 

Eight Rules approached him and said, “You are really mistaken, Aged Sir, if you judge people by their looks. We may be ugly, but 
we are all useful.” As the old man was speaking with the three monks in front of his house, two young men appeared to the south of 
the village, leading an old woman and several young children. All of them had their clothes rolled up and were walking barefoot, for 
they were returning after a day’s planting of young shoots of grain. When they saw the white horse, the luggage, and the goings-on in 
front of their house, they all ran forward, asking, “What are you people doing here?” Turning his head, Eight Rules flapped his ears a 
couple of times and stuck out his long snout once, so frightening the people that they fell down right and left, madly scattering in every 
direction. Tripitaka, alarmed, kept saying, “Don't be afraid! Don’t be afraid! We are not bad people! We are monks in quest of 
scriptures.” Coming out of his house, the old man helped the old woman up, saying, “Mama, get up! Calm yourself. This master came 
from the Tang court. His disciples may look hideous, but they are really good people with ugly faces. Take the boys and girls back into 
the house.” Clutching at the old man, the old woman walked inside with the two young men and their children. 

Sitting on the bamboo bed in their house, Tripitaka began to protest, saying, “Disciples! The two of you are not only ugly in 
appearance, but you are also rude in your language. You have scared this family badly, and you are causing me to sin.” “To tell you the 
truth, Master,” said Eight Rules, “since I started accompanying you, I have become a lot better behaved. At the time when I was living 
in Old Gao Village, all I needed to do was to pout and flap my ears once, and scores of people would be frightened to death!” “Stop 
talking rubbish, Idiot,” said Pilgrim, “and fix your ugliness.” “Look at the way Wukong talks,” said Tripitaka. “Your appearance comes 
with your birth. How can you tell him to fix it?” “Take that rakelike snout,” said Pilgrim, “put it in your bosom, and don’t take it out. 
And stick your rush-leaf-fan ears to the back of your head, and don’t shake them. That’s fixing it.” Eight Rules did indeed hide his 
snout and stick his ears to the back of his head; with his hands folded in front of him to hide his head, he stood on one side of his 
master. Pilgrim took the luggage inside the main door, and tied the white horse to one of the posts in the courtyard. 

The old man then brought a young man in to present three cups of tea placed on a wooden tray. After the tea, he ordered a vegetarian 
meal to be prepared. Then the young man took an old, unvarnished table full of holes and several stools with broken legs, and placed 
them in the courtyard for the three of them to sit where it was cool. Only then did Tripitaka ask, “Old patron, what is your noble 
surname?” “Your humble servant goes by the surname of Wang,” said the old man. “And how many heirs do you have?” asked 
Tripitaka. “I have two sons and three grandchildren,” said the old man. “Congratulations! Congratulations!” said Tripitaka. “And what 
is your age?” “I have foolishly lived till my sixty-first year,” the old man said. “Good! Good! Good!” said Pilgrim. “You have just 
begun a new sexagenary cycle.” “Old patron,” said Tripitaka again, “you said when we first came that the scriptures in the Western 
Heaven were difficult to get. Why?” “The scriptures are not hard to get,” said the old man, “but the journey there is filled with hazards 
and difficulties. Some thirty miles west of us there is a mountain called the Yellow Wind Ridge of Eight Hundred Miles. Monsters 
infest that mountain, and that’s what I meant by difficulties. Since this little priest claims that he has many abilities, however, you may 
perhaps proceed after all.” “No fear! No fear!” said Pilgrim. “With old Monkey and his younger brother around, we’ll never be 
touched, no matter what kind of monster we meet.” 

While they spoke, one of the sons brought out some rice and placed it on the table, saying, “Please eat.” Tripitaka immediately 
folded his hands to begin his grace, but Eight Rules had already swallowed a whole bowl of rice. Before the priest could say the few 
sentences. Idiot had devoured three more bowlfuls. “Look at the glutton!” said Pilgrim. “It’s like we’ve met a pretal” Old Wang was a 
sensitive person. When he saw how fast Eight Rules was eating, he said, “This honored priest must be really hungry! Quick, bring 
more rice!” Idiot in truth had an enormous appetite. Look at him! Without lifting his head once, he finished over ten bowls, while 
Tripitaka and Pilgrim could hardly finish two. Idiot refused to stop and wanted to eat still more. “In our haste we have not prepared any 
dainty viands,” said old Wang, “and I dare not press you too much. Please take at least one more helping.” Both Tripitaka and Pilgrim 
said, “We have had enough.” “Old man,” said Eight Rules, “what are you mumbling about? Who’s having a game of divination with 
you? Why mention all that about the fifth yao and the sixth yao ? 4 If you have rice, just bring more of it, that’s all!” So Idiot in one meal 

finished all the rice in that household, and then he said he was only half full! The tables and dishes were cleared away, and after 
bedding had been placed on the bamboo bed and on some wooden boards, the travelers rested. 

The next morning. Pilgrim went to saddle the horse, while Eight Rules put their luggage in order. Old Wang asked his wife to 
prepare some refreshments and drinks to serve them, after which the three of them expressed their thanks and took leave of their host. 
The old man said, “If there is any mishap on your journey after you leave here, you must feel free to return to our house.” “Old man,” 
said Pilgrim, “don't speak such disconcerting words. Those of us who have left the family never retrace our steps!” They then urged on 
the horse, picked up the luggage, and proceeded toward the West. Alas! What this journey means for them is that 

iere's no safe way which leads to the Western Realm; 
wre 'll be great disasters brought by demons vile. 

Before the three of them had traveled for half a day, they did indeed come upon a tall mountain, exceedingly tugged. Tripitaka rode 
right up to the hanging cliff and looked around, sitting sideways on his saddle. Truly 

ll was the mountain; 

igged, the peak; 

eep, the precipice; 

zep, the canyon; 

urgling, the stream; 

id fresh were the flowers. 

lis mountain, whether tall or not, 

: top reached the blue sky; 
lis stream, whether deep or not, 

■■ floor opened to Hell below. 

ifore the mountain, 

hite clouds rose in continuous rings 

id boulders in shapes grotesque. 

mntless the soul-rending cliffs ten thousand yards deep; 

ihind them, winding, twisting, dragon-hiding caves, 

here water dripped from ledges drop by drop. 

z also saw some deer with zigzag horns; 

•ill and dumbly staring antelopes; 

inding and coiling red-scaled pythons; 

lly and foolish white-faced apes; 

gers that climbed the hills to seek their dens at night; 

r agons that churned the waves to leave their lairs at dawn. 

one stepped before a cave "s entrance, 

i e dead leaves crackled; 

te fowls in the grass 

irted up with wings loudly beating; 

le beasts in the forest 

ilked with paws noisily scratching. 

’ddenly wild creatures hurried by, 
aking hearts beat with fear. 

i us it was that the Due-to-Fall Cave duly faced the Due-to-Fall Cave? 
w Cave duly facing the Due-to-Fall Cave duly faced the mount, 
ne blue bill dyed like a thousand yards of jade, 
ist-veiled like countless mounds of jade-green gauze. 

The master rode forward very slowly, while the Great Sage Sun also walked at a slower pace and Zhu Wuneng proceeded leisurely 
with the load. As all of them were looking at the mountain, a great whirlwind suddenly arose. Alarmed, Tripitaka said, “Wukong, the 
wind is rising!” “Why fear the wind?” said Pilgrim. “This is the breath of Heaven in the four seasons, nothing to be afraid of.” “But 
this is a terribly violent wind, unlike the kind that comes front Heaven,” said Tripitaka. “How so?” said Pilgrim. Tripitaka said, “Look 
at this wind! 

igustly it blows in a blusterous key, 

1 immense force leaving the jade-green sky. 
passes the ridge, just hear the trees roar, 
moves in the wood, just see the poles quake, 
illows by the banks are rocked to the roots; 
own garden flowers now soar with their leaves, 
shing boats, nets drawn, make their hawsers taut; 
ssels with sails down have their anchors cast, 
ekkers in mid-journey have lost their way; 
oodsmen in the hills cannot hold their loads. 

•om woods with fruits divine the apes disperse; 

•om clumps of rare flowers the small fawns flee, 
fore the cliff cypress fall one by one; 
ownstream bamboo and pine die leaf by leaf, 
irth and dust are scattered while sand explodes; 
vers and seas overturned, waves churn and roll. " 

Eight Rules went forward and tugged at Pilgrim, saying, “Elder Brother, the wind is too strong! Let’s find shelter until it dies down.” 
“You are too soft, Brother,” said Pilgrim, laughing, “when you want to hide the moment the wind gets strong. What would happen to 
you if you were to meet a monster-spirit face to face?” “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “you probably haven’t heard of the proverb, 

ee the fair sex like a foe; 
ee the wind like an arrow! 

We suffer no loss if we take shelter just for a little while.” 

“Stop talking,” said Pilgrim, “and let me seize the wind and smell it.” “You are fibbing again, Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, with 
a laugh, “for how can the wind be seized for you to smell? Even if you manage to catch hold of it, it will slip past you at once.” 
“Brother,” said Pilgrim, “you didn’t know that I have the magic to ‘seize the wind.’” Dear Great Sage! He allowed the head of the 
wind to move past but he caught hold of its tail and sniffed at it. Finding it somewhat fetid, he said, “This is indeed not a very good 
wind, for it smells like a tiger or else like a monster; there’s something definitely strange about it.” 

Hardly had he finished speaking when from over a hump of the mountain a fierce striped tiger with a whiplike tail and powerful 

limbs appeared. Tripitaka was so horrified that he could no longer sit on the saddle; he fell head over heels from the white horse and 
lay beside the road, half out of his wits. Throwing down the luggage, Eight Rules took up his muckrake and rushed past Pilgrim. 
“Cursed beast!” he shouted. “Where are you going?” He lunged forward and struck at the beast’s head. That tiger stood straight up on 
his hind legs and, raising his left paw, punctured his own breast with one jab. Then, gripping the skin, he tore downward with a loud 
rending noise and he became completely stripped of his own hide as he stood there by the side of the road. Look how abominable he 
appears! Oh! That hideous form: 

/ smeared with blood, the naked body; 
ost sickly red, the warped legs and feet; 
ke shooting flames, wild hair by the temples; 

■istlingly hard, two eyebrows pointing upward; 
zllishly white, four steel-like fangs; 
ith light aglow, a pair of gold eyes; 
iposing of mien, he mightily roared; 
ith power fierce, he cried aloud. 

“Slow down! Slow down!” he shouted. “I am not any other person. I am the vanguard of the forces commanded by the Great King 
Yellow Wind. I have received the Great King’s strict order to patrol this mountain and to catch a few mortals to be used as hors 
d’oeuvres for him. Where did you monks come from that you dare reach for your weapons to hami me?” “Cursed beast that you are!” 
cried Eight Rules. “So you don’t recognize me! We are no mortals who just happen to be passing by; we are the disciples of Tripitaka, 
the royal brother of the Great Tang Emperor in the Land of the East, who by imperial decree is journeying to the Western Heaven to 
seek scriptures from the Buddha. You better stand aside quickly for us to pass, and don't alarm my master. Then I’ll spare your life. 
But if you are impudent as before, there will be no clemency when this rake is lifted up!” 

That monster-spirit would not permit any further discussion. He quickly drew near, assumed a fighting pose, and clawed at Eight 
Rules’s face. Dodging the blow, Eight Rules struck at once with his rake. Since the monster had no weapons in his hands, he turned 
and fled, with Eight Rules hard on his heels. Racing to the slope below, the monster took out from beneath a clump of rocks a pair of 
bronze scimitars, with which he turned to face his pursuer. So the two of them clashed right in front of the mountain slope, closing in 
again and again. Meanwhile, Pilgrim lifted up the Tang Monk and said, “Master, don’t be afraid. Sit here and let old Monkey go help 
Eight Rules strike down that monster so that we can leave.” Only then did Tripitaka manage to sit up; trembling all over, he began to 
recite the Heart Sutra, but we shall say no more of that. 

Whipping out the iron rod, Pilgrim shouted, “Catch him!” Eight Rules at once attacked with even greater ferocity, and the monster 
fled in defeat. “Don’t spare him,” yelled Pilgrim. “We must catch him!” Wielding rod and rake, the two of them gave chase down the 
mountain. In panic, the monster resorted to the trick of the gold cicada casting its shell: he rolled on the ground and changed back into 
the form of a tiger. Pilgrim and Eight Rules would not let up. Closing in on the tiger, they intended to dispose of him once and for all. 
When the monster saw them approaching, he again stripped himself of his own hide and threw the skin over a large piece of rock, 
while his true form changed into a violent gust of wind heading back the way he had come. Suddenly noticing the master of the law 
sitting by the road and reciting the Heart Sutra, he caught hold of him and hauled him away by mounting the wind. O, pity that 

ie River Float fated to suffer oft! 
s hard to make merit in Buddha s gate! 

Having taken the Tang Monk back to the door of his cave, the monster stopped the wind and said to the one standing guard at the 
door, “Go report to the Great King and say that the Tiger Vanguard has captured a monk. He awaits his order outside the door.” The 
Cave Master gave the order for him to enter. The Tiger Vanguard, with the two bronze scimitars hanging from his waist, lifted up the 
Tang Monk in his hands. He went forward and knelt down, saying, “Great King! Though your humble officer is not talented, he thanks 
you for granting him the honored command of doing patrol in the mountain. I encountered a monk who is Tripitaka, master of the law 
and brother to the Throne of the Great Tang in the Land of the East. While he was on his way to seek scriptures from Buddha, I 
captured him to present to you here for your culinary pleasure.” When the Cave Master heard this, he was a little startled. “I have heard 
some rumor,” he said, “that the master of the law Tripitaka is a divine monk who is going in search of scriptures by imperial decree of 
the Great Tang. He has under him a disciple whose name is Pilgrim Sun and who possesses tremendous magical power and prodigious 
intelligence. How did you manage to catch him and bring him here?” 

“He has, in fact, two disciples,” said the Vanguard. “The one who appeared first used a nine-pronged muckrake, and he had a long 
snout and huge ears. Another one used a golden-hooped iron rod, and he had fiery eyes and diamond pupils. As they were chasing me 
to attack me, I used the trick of the gold cicada casting its shell and succeeded not only in eluding them but also in catching this monk. 
I now respectfully present him to the Great King as a meal.” “Let’s not eat him yet,” said the Cave Master. 

“Great King,” said the Vanguard, “only a worthless horse turns away ready feed!” “You haven’t considered this,” said the Cave 
Master. “There’s nothing wrong with eating him, but I’m afraid his two disciples may come to our door and argue with us. Let’s tie him 
instead to one of the posts in the rear garden and wait for three or four days. If those two don’t show up to disturb us, then we can 
enjoy the double benefit of having his body cleaned and not having to bicker with our tongues. Then we can do what we want with 
him, whether we wish him boiled, steamed, fried, or sauteed; we can take our time to enjoy him.” Highly pleased, the Vanguard said, 
“The Great King is full of wisdom and foresight, and what he says is most reasonable. Little ones, take the priest inside.” 

Seven or eight demons rushed up from the sides and took the Tang Monk away; like hawks catching sparrows, they bound him 
firmly with ropes. This is how that 

-fated River Float on Pilgrim broods; 
ie god-monk in pain calls Wuneng to mind. 

“Disciples,” he said, “I don’t know in what mountain you are catching monsters, or in what region you are subduing goblins. But I 
have been captured by this demon from whom I have to suffer great injury. When shall we see each other again? Oh, what misery! If 
you two can come here quickly, you may be able to save my life. But if you tarry, I shall never survive!” As he lamented and sighed, 

his tears fell like rain. 

We now tell you about Pilgrim and Eight Rules, who, having chased the tiger down the slope of the mountain, saw him fall and 
collapse at the foot of the cliff. Lifting his rod, Pilgrim brought it down on the tiger with all his might, but the rod bounced back up and 
his hands were stung by the impact. Eight Rules, too, gave a blow with his muckrake, and its prongs also rebounded. They then 
discovered that it was nothing but a piece of tigerskin covering a large slab of stone. Greatly startled, Pilgrim said, “Oh, no! Oh, no! 
He’s tricked us!” “What trick?” asked Eight Rules. Pilgrim replied, “This is called the trick of the gold cicada casting its shell. He left 
his skin covering the stone here to fool us, but he himself has escaped. Let’s go back at once to take a look at Master. Let’s hope that he 
has not been hurt.” They retreated hurriedly, but Tripitaka had long vanished. Bellowing like thunder, Pilgrim cried, “What shall we 
do? He has taken Master away.” “Heavens! Heavens!” wailed Eight Rules, leading the horse, as tears fell from his eyes, “where shall 
we go to look for him?” With head held high, Pilgrim said, “Don’t cry! Don’t cry! The moment you cry, you already feel defeated. 
They have to be somewhere in this mountain. Let’s go and search for them.” 

The two of them indeed rushed up the mountain, passing the ridges and scaling the heights. After traveling for a long time, they 
suddenly beheld a cave dwelling emerging from beneath a cliff. Pausing to take a careful look around, they saw that it was indeed a 
formidable place. You see 

pointed peak fortresslike; 
i old path ever winding; 
ue pines and fresh bamboos; 

'•een willows and verdant wu-treesp 

range rocks in twos below the cliff; 

ire fowls in pairs within the woods. 

stream flowing far away spills over a wall of stones; 

te mountain brook reaches the sandy banks in small drops. 

isteland clouds in clusters; 

id grass as green as jade. 

te sly vixen and hare scamper wildly about; 

orned deer and musk deer lock to contest their strength. 

anted across the cliff dangles an aged vine; 

alf down the gorge an ancient cedar hangs. 

igust and grand, this place surpasses Mount Huap 

i e falling blooms and singing birds rival Tiantai’s. 

“Worthy Brother,” said Pilgrim, “you may leave the luggage in the fold of the mountain, where it will be protected from the wind. 
Then you can graze the horse nearby and you need not come out. Let old Monkey go fight with him at his door. That monster has to be 
caught before our master can be rescued.” “No need for instructions,” said Eight Rules. “Go quickly!” Pulling down his shirt and 
tightening his belt on the tiger-skin skirt, Pilgrim grasped his rod and rushed up to the cave, where he saw six words in large letters 
above the door: “Yellow Wind Cave, Yellow Wind Peak.” He at once poised himself for battle, with legs apart and one foot slightly 
ahead of the other. Holding his rod high, he cried, “Monster! Send out my master at once, lest I overturn your den and level your 

When the little demons heard this, every one of them was panic-stricken and ran inside to make the report, “Great King, disaster!” 
The Yellow Wind Monster, who was sitting there, asked, “What’s the matter?” “Outside the cave door there’s a monk with a thunder- 
god mouth and hairy face,” said one of the little demons, “holding in his hands a huge, thick, iron rod and demanding the return of his 
master.” Somewhat fearful, the Cave Master said to the Tiger Vanguard, “I asked you to patrol the mountain, and you should merely 
have caught a few mountain buffalo, wild boar, fat deer, or wild goats. Why did you have to bring back a Tang Monk? Now we have 
provoked his disciple to come here to create all sorts of disturbance. What shall we do?” “Don’t be anxious. Great King,” said the 
Vanguard, “and put your worries to rest. Though this junior officer is untalented, he is willing to lead fifty soldiers out there and bring 
in that so-called Pilgrim Sun as a condiment for your meal.” “In addition to the various officers here,” said the Cave Master, “we have 
some seven hundred regulars. You may pick as many of them as you want. Only if that Pilgrim is caught will we be able to enjoy a 
piece of that monk’s flesh with any comfort. And if that happens. I’m willing to become your bond brother. But I fear that if you can’t 
catch him, you may even get hurt. You mustn’t blame me then!” 

“Relax! Relax! Let me go now!” said the Tiger Monster. He checked off the roll fifty of the toughest little demons, who began 
beating drums and waving banners. He himself took up the two bronze scimitars and leaped out of the cave, crying with a loud voice, 
“Where did you come from, you monkey-monk, that you dare make such a racket here?!’ “You skin-flaying beast!” shouted Pilgrim. 
“You were the one who used that shell-casting trick to take away my master. Why do you question me instead? You better send out my 
master immediately, or I’ll not spare your life.” “I took your master,” said the Tiger Monster, “so that he could be served to my Great 
King as meat for his rice. If you know what’s good for you, get away from here. If not, I’ll catch you too, and you’ll be eaten along 
with him. It will be like ‘one free piece of merchandise with every purchase!’” When he heard this, Pilgrim was filled with anger. With 
grinding teeth and fiery eyes all ablaze, he lifted his iron rod and yelled, “What great ability do you have, that you dare talk like that? 
Don’t move! Watch this rod!” Wielding his scimitars swiftly, the Vanguard turned to meet him. It was truly some battle as the two of 
them let loose their power. What a fight! 

iat monster is truly a goose’s egg, 

it Wukong is a goose-egg stone no less! 

hen bronze swords fight Handsome Monkey King, 

s like eggs coming to strike at stones. 

ow can sparrows quarrel with the phoenix? 

are pigeons oppose the eagles and hawks? 

te monster belches wind—the mount s filled with dust; 

ukong spits out fog and clouds hide the sun. 

ley fight for no more than four or five rounds; 

te Vanguard grows weak, having no strength left. 

? turns in defeat to flee for his life, 

ard pressed by Wukong, who seeks his death. 

Not able to hold out any longer, the monster turned and fled. But since he had boasted in front of the Cave Master, he dared not go 

back to the cave; instead, he fled toward the mountain slope. Pilgrim, of course, would not let him go; holding his rod, he gave chase 
relentlessly, shouting and crying along the way. As they reached the fold of the mountain, which formed a wind break, he happened to 
look up, and there was Eight Rules grazing the horse. Hearing all the shouts and clamor, Eight Rules turned around and saw that it was 
Pilgrim chasing a defeated Tiger Monster. Abandoning the horse, Eight Rules lifted his rake and approaching from one side brought it 
down hard on the monster’s head. Pity that Vanguard! 

2 hoped to leap clear of the brown-rope net, 
it knowing he would meet the fisher's coop. 

One blow from Eight Rules’s rake produced nine holes, from which fresh blood spurted out, and the brains of the monster’s whole 
head ran dry! We have a poem as a testimony for Eight Rules, which says: 

!turning to True Teaching some years ago, 

2 kept a chaste diet to realize the Real Void. 

• serve Tripitaka is his pious wish: 
lis, a new Buddhist convert's first merit. 

Idiot put his foot on the monster’s spine and brought down the rake on him once more. When Pilgrim saw that, he was very pleased, 
saying, “That’s right, Brother! He was audacious enough to lead scores of little demons against me, but he was defeated. Instead of 
fleeing back to the cave, he came here seeking death. It’s a good thing you are here, or else he would have escaped again.” “Is he the 
one who took our master with the wind?” asked Eight Rules. “Yes! Yes!” said Pilgrim. “Did you ask him the whereabouts of our 
master?” said Eight Rules. “This monster brought Master to the cave,” said Pilgrim, “to be served to some blackguard of a Great King 
as meat for his rice. I was enraged, fought with him, and chased him here for you to finish him off. Brother, this is your merit! You can 
remain here guarding the horse and luggage, and let me drag this dead monster back to the mouth of the cave to provoke battle again. 
We must capture the old monster before we can rescue Master.” “You are right, Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules. “Go, go now! If you 
beat that old monster, chase him here and let old Hog intercept and kill him.” Dear Pilgrim! Holding the iron rod in one hand and 
dragging the dead tiger with the other, he went back to the mouth of the cave. So it was that 

ie dharma-master met monsters in his ordeal; 

;eling and nature in peace wild demons subdued. 


The Viharapalas ' prepare lodging for the Great Sage; 

Lingji ofSumeru crushes the wind demon. 

We shall now tell about those fifty defeated little demons, who rushed into the cave carrying their broken drums and tom banners. 
“Great King,” they cried, “the Tiger Vanguard was no match for the hairy-faced monk. That monk chased him down the eastern slope 
until the Vanguard disappeared.” When the old monster heard this, he was terribly upset. As he bowed his head in silent deliberation, 
another little demon who stood guard at the door came to report, “Great King, the Tiger Vanguard was beaten to death by the hairy- 
faced monk and dragged up to our door to provoke battle.” Hearing this, the old monster became even angrier. “This fellow does not 
know when to stop!” he said. “I have not eaten his master, but he has killed our Vanguard instead. How insolent!” Whereupon he 
bellowed, “Bring me my armor. I have heard only rumors about this Pilgrim Sun, and I’m going out there to find out what sort of monk 
he really is. Even if he has nine heads and eight tails, I’m going to take him in here to pay for the life of my Tiger Vanguard!” The little 
demons quickly brought out the armor. After having been properly buckled and laced, the old monster took a steel trident and leaped 
out of the cave, leading the rest of the demons. Standing in front of the door, the Great Sage watched the monster emerge with a truly 
aggressive appearance. Look how he is attired. You see 

old helmet reflecting the sun; 

old cuirass gleaming with light. 

pheasant-tail tassel flies from the helmet; 

light yellow silk robe topped by the cuirass, 

ed with a dragonlike sash of brilliant hues. 

is breastplate emits eye-dazzling light. 

is boots of suede 

•e dyed by locust flowers. 

is embroidered kilt 

decked with willow leaves. 

olding a sharp trident in his hands, 

? seems almost the Erlang ^ Boy of old! 

When he had come out, the old monster shouted, “Who is Pilgrim Sun?” With one foot on the carcass of the Tiger Monster and the 
compliant iron rod in his hands. Pilgrim replied: “Your Grandpa Sun is here! Send my master out!” The old monster took a careful look 
and saw the diminutive figure of Pilgrim—less than four feet, in fact—and his sallow cheeks. He said with a laugh: “Too bad! Too bad! 
I thought you were some kind of invincible hero. But you are only a sickly ghost, with nothing more than your skeleton left!” 

“Child,” said Pilgrim laughing, “how you lack perception! Your grandpa may be somewhat small in size, but if you have the courage 
to hit me on the head with the handle of your trident, I’ll grow six feet at once.” “Harden your head,” said the monster, “and have a 
taste of my handle!” Our Great Sage was not in the least frightened. When the monster struck him once, he stretched his waist and at 
once grew more than six feet, attaining the height of ten feet altogether. The monster was so alarmed that he tried to use his trident to 
hold him down, shouting, “Pilgrim Sun, how dare you stand at my door, displaying this paltry magic of body protection! Stop using 
tricks! Come up here and let’s measure our real abilities!” “My dear son,” said Pilgrim with laughter, “the proverb says: ‘Mercy should 
be shown before the hand is raised!’ Your grandpa is pretty heavy-handed, and he fears that you won’t be able to bear even one stroke 
of this rod!” Refusing to listen to any such discussion, the monster turned his trident around and stabbed at Pilgrim’s chest. The Great 
Sage, of course, was not at all perturbed, for as the saying goes, the expert is never exercised. He raised his rod and, using the 
movement of the “black dragon sweeping the ground” to parry the trident, struck at the monster’s head. The two of them thus began a 
fierce battle before that Yellow Wind Cave: 

ie Monster King became enraged; 

te Great Sage released his might. 

ie Monster King became enraged, 

ishing to seize Pilgrim to pay for his Vanguard. 

le Great Sage released his might 

1 capture this spirit and to save the priest, 
ie trident arrived, blocked by the rod; 

ie rod went forth, met by the trident. 

lis one, a mountain-ruling captain of his hosts. 

tat one, the Handsome Monkey King who defends the Law. 

first they fought on the dusty earth; 

ten each arose midway to the sky. 

le fine steel trident; 

rinted, sharp, and brilliant. 

ie compliant rod: 

'tdy black and yellow hoops. 

abbed by them, your soul goes back to darkness! 

ruck by them, you ’ll face King Yama! 

•u must rely on quick arms and keen sight. 

•u must have a tough frame and great strength, 
ie two fought without regard for life or death; 

2 know not who will be safe or who will be hurt. 

The old monster and the Great Sage fought for thirty rounds, but neither could gain the upper hand. Pressing for a quick victory, 
Pilgrim decided to use the trick of “the body beyond the body.” He tore from himself a handful of hairs that he chewed to pieces in his 
mouth. Spitting them out, he cried, “Change!” They changed at once into more than a hundred Pilgrims: all having the same 
appearance and all holding an iron rod, they surrounded the monster in midair. Somewhat alarmed, the monster also resorted to his 
special talent. He turned to face the ground to the southwest and opened his mouth three times to blow out some air. Suddenly a mighty 
yellow wind arose in the sky. Dear wind! It was indeed powerful. 

Yld and whistling, it changed Heaven and Earth, 

: yellow sand whirled without form or shape, 
cut through woods and hills to break pines and plums; 
tossed up dirt and dust, cracking crags and cliffs, 
ives churned in Yellow River to cloud its floor; 
de and current swelled up at River Xiang, 
le Polestar Palace in the blue sky shook; 
le Hall of Darkness was almost blown down; 
le Five Hundred Arhats all yelled and screamed; 
te Eight Guards of Aksobhya all cried and shrieked. 
ahjusrT’s green-haired lion ran away; 
svabhadra lost his white elephant? 
take and turtle of Zhenwu left their fold ? 
lutter were the saddle-flaps of Zitong 5 ? mule, 
aveling merchants sent their cries to Heaven, 
id boatmen bowed to make their many vows — 
leir mistlike lives awash in rolling waves; 
teir names, their fortunes, adrift in the tide! 
ives on genie mountains were black as pitch; 
le isle of Penglafi was gloomy and dark, 
lozi could not tend his elixir oven; 

’e Star folded his fan of grapevine leaves. 

: Queen Mother went to the Peaches Feast, 
te wind blew her skirt and pins awry, 
iang lost his way to the Guanzhou town; 
ita found it hard to pull out his sword. 

Jing missed the pagoda in his hand; 
i Ban 1 dropped his golden-headed drill, 
hile three stories of Thunderclap fell down, 
te stone bridge at Zhaozhou broke in twain, 
te orb of the red sun had little light; 
te stars of all Heaven grew obscure and faint, 
rds of south mountains Jlew to northern hills; 
iter of east lakes spilled over to the west, 
iwls with mates broke up, they ceased their calls; 
others and sons parted, their cries turned mute. 

'•agon Kings sought yaksas all over the sea; 
rnnder gods hunted lightnings every where, 
n Kings ofYama tried to find their judge; 

Hell, Bull-Head ran after Horse-Face, 
lis wind blew down the Potalaka Mount 
id whipped up one scroll of Guanyin’s verse, 
hite lotus-blooms, cut down, flew beside the sea; 
velve halls of the Bodhisattva were blown down. 

■om Pan Gu till this time since wind was known, 
lere never was wind with such ferocity, 

te universe did almost split apart! 

te whole world was one mighty trembling mass! 

This violent wind called up by the monster blew away all those little Pilgrims fonned by the Great Sage’s hairs and sent them reeling 
through the air like so many spinning wheels. Unable even to wield their rods, how could they possibly hope to draw near to fight? 
Pilgrim was so alarmed that he shook his body and retrieved his hairs. He then lifted the iron rod and tried to attack the monster all by 
himself, only to be met by a mouthful of yellow wind right on his face. Those two fiery eyes with diamond pupils of his were so 
blasted that they shut tightly and could not be opened. No longer able to use his rod, he fled in defeat while the monster retrieved the 
wind, which we shall mention no further. 

We tell you now about Zhu Eight Rules, who, when he saw the violent yellow windstorm arriving and the whole of Heaven and 
Earth growing dim, led the horse and took the luggage to the fold of the mountain. There he crouched on the ground and refused to 
open his eyes or raise his head, his mouth incessantly calling on the name of Buddha and making vows. As he was wondering how 
Pilgrim was faring in his battle and whether his master was dead or alive, the wind stopped and the sky brightened again. He looked up 
and peered toward the entrance of the cave, but he could neither see any movement of weapons nor hear the sound of gongs and drums. 
Idiot dared not approach the cave, since there was no one else to guard the horse and the luggage. Deeply distressed and not knowing 
what to do, he suddenly heard the Great Sage approaching from the west, grunting and snorting as he came. Bowing to meet his 
companion, he said, “Elder Brother, what a mighty wind! Where did you come from?” 

With a wave of his hand, Pilgrim said, “Formidable! It’s truly fonnidable! Since I, old Monkey, was bom, I have never witnessed 
such a violent wind! That old monster fought me with a steel trident, and we battled for over thirty rounds. It was then that I used the 
magic of the body beyond the body and had him surrounded. He panicked and called up this wind, which was ferocious indeed. Its 
force was so overwhelming that I had to suspend my operation and flee instead. Whew! What a wind! Whew! What a wind! Old 
Monkey also knows how to call up the wind and how to summon the rain, but it’s hardly as vicious as the wind of this monster-spirit!” 
“Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “how is the martial technique of that monster?” “It’s presentable,” said Pilgrim, “and he knows how 
to use the trident! He is, in fact, just about the equal of old Monkey. But that wind of his is vicious, and that makes it difficult to defeat 
him.” “In that case,” said Eight Rules, “how are we going to rescue Master?” 

Pilgrim said, “We’ll have to wait to rescue Master. I wonder if there is any eye doctor around here who can take a look at my eyes.” 
“What’s the matter with your eyes?” asked Eight Rules. Pilgrim replied, “That monster blew a mouthful of wind on my face, and my 
eyes were so sorely blasted that they are now watering constantly.” “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “we are in the middle of a 
mountain, and it’s getting late. Let’s not talk about eye doctors; we don’t even have a place to stay.” “It won’t be difficult to find 
lodging,” said Pilgrim. “I doubt that the monster has the gall to harm our master. Let’s find our way back to the main road and see 
whether we can stay with a family. After spending the night, we can return to subdue the monster tomorrow when it’s light.” “Exactly, 
exactly,” agreed Eight Rules. 

Leading the horse and carrying up the luggage, they left the fold of the mountain and went up the road. Dusk was setting in, and as 
they walked, they heard the sound of barking dogs toward the south of the mountain slope. Stopping to look, they saw a small cottage 

with flickering lamplights. Not bothering to look for a path, the two of them walked through the grass and arrived at the door of that 
household. They saw 

irk clumps of purplish fungi; 

reyish piles of white stones; 

irk clumps of purplish fungi with much green grass; 

'•eyish piles of white stones halfgrown with moss: 
few specks offireflies, their faint light aglow; 
forest of wild woods stand in dense rows; 

'•chids ever fragrant; 

imboos newly planted; 

clear stream flows a winding course; 

Id cedars lean o 'er a deep cliff, 
secluded place where no travelers come: 
nly wild flowers bloom before the door. 

Not daring to enter without permission, they both called out: “Open the door! Open the door!” An old man inside appeared with 
several young fanners, all holding rakes, pitchforks, and brooms. “Who are you? Who are you?” they asked. With a bow, Pilgrim said, 
“We are disciples of a holy monk from the Great Tang in the Land of the East. We were on our way to seek scriptures from the Buddha 
in the Western Heaven when we passed through this mountain, and our master was captured by the Yellow Wind Great King. We have 
yet to rescue him. Since it is getting late, we have come to ask for lodging for one night at your house. We beg you for this means of 
convenience.” Returning the bow, the old man said, “Pardon me for not coming to greet you. This is a place where clouds are more 
numerous than people, and when we heard you calling at the door just now, we were afraid that it might be someone like a wily fox, a 
tiger, or a bandit from the mountain. That’s why my little ones might have offended you by their rather brusque manner. Please come 
in. Please come in.” 

The two brothers led the horse and hauled the luggage inside; after tying up the animal and putting down the load, they exchanged 
greetings again with the old man of the cottage before taking their seats. An old manservant then came forward to present tea, after 
which several bowls of sesame seed rice were brought out . 8 After they had finished the rice, the old man asked for bedding to be laid 
out for them to sleep. Pilgrim said, “We don’t need to sleep just yet. May I ask the good man whether there is in your region someone 
who sells eye medicine?” 

“Which one of you elders has eye disease?” asked the old man. Pilgrim said, “To tell you the truth. Venerable Sir, we who have left 
the family rarely become ill. In fact, I have never known any disease of the eye.” “If you are not suffering from an eye disease,” said 
the old man, “why do you want medicine?” “We were trying to rescue our master at the entrance of the Yellow Wind Cave today,” said 
Pilgrim. “Unexpectedly that monster blew a mouthful of wind at me, causing my eyes to hurt and smart. At the moment. I’m weeping 
constantly, and that’s why I want to find eye medicine.” 

“My goodness! My goodness!” said the old man. “A young priest like you, why do you he? The wind of that Great King Yellow 
Wind is most fearsome, not comparable with any spring-autumn wind, pine-and-bamboo wind, or the wind coming from the four 

“I suppose,” said Eight Rules, “it must be brain-bursting wind, goat-ear wind, leprous wind, or migrainous wind!” “No, no!” said the 
old man. “His is called the Divine Wind of Samadhi.” “What’s it like?” asked Pilgrim. The old man said, “That wind 

in blow to dim Heaven and Earth, 
id sadden both ghosts and gods. 

> savage it breaks rocks and stones, 
man will die when he’s blown! 

If you had encountered that wind of his, you think you would still be alive? Only if you were an immortal could you remain 

“Indeed!” said Pilgrim. “I may not be an immortal (for they belong to the younger generation, as far as I am concerned), but it will 
take some doing to finish me off! That wind, however, did cause my eyeballs to hurt and smart.” 

“If you can say that,” said the old man, “you must be a person with some background. Our humble region has no one who sells eye 
medicine. But I myself suffer from watery eyes when the wind blows in my face, and I met an extraordinary person once who gave me 
a prescription. It’s called the three-flowers and nine-seeds ointment, capable of curing all wind-induced eye maladies.” When Pilgrim 
heard these words, he bowed his head and said humbly, “I’m willing to ask you for some and try it on myself.” The old man consented 
and went into the inner chamber. He took out a little cornelian vase and pulled off the stopper; using a small jade pin to scoop out some 
ointment, he dabbed it onto Pilgrim’s eyes, telling him to close his eyes and rest quietly, for he would be well by morning. After doing 
this, the old man took the vase and retired with his attendants. Eight Rules untied the bags, took out the bedding, and asked Pilgrim to 
he down. As Pilgrim groped about confusedly with his eyes closed, Eight Rules laughed and said, “Sir, where’s your seeing-eye cane?” 
“You overstuffed idiot!” said Pilgrim. “You want to take care of me as a blind man?” Giggling to himself. Idiot fell asleep, but Pilgrim 
sat on the mattress and did exercises to cultivate his magic power. Only after the third watch did he sleep. 

Soon it was the fifth watch and dawn was about to break. Wiping his face, Pilgrim opened his eyes, saying, “It’s really marvelous 
medicine! I can see a hundred times better than before!” He then turned his head to look around. Ah! There were neither buildings nor 
halls, only some old locust frees and tall willows. The brothers were actually lying on a green grass meadow. Just then, Eight Rules 
began to stir, saying, “Elder Brother, why are you making all these noises?” “Open your eyes and take a look,” said Pilgrim. Raising 
his head. Idiot discovered that the house had disappeared. He was so startled that he scrambled up at once, crying, “Where’s my 
horse?” “Isn’t it over there, tied to a tree?” said Pilgrim. “And the luggage?” asked Eight Rules. 

“Isn’t it there by your head?” said Pilgrim. “This family is rather shifty!” said Eight Rules. “If they have moved, why didn’t they 
give us a call? If they had let old Hog know about it, they might have received some farewell gifts of tea and fruits. Well, I suppose 
they must be trying to hide from something and are afraid that the county sheriff may get wind of it; so they moved out in the night. 
Good Heavens! We must have been dead to the world! How could we not have heard anything when they dismantled the whole 
house?” “Idiot, stop babbling!” said Pilgrim, chuckling. “Take a look on that tree and see what kind of paper slip is there.” Eight Rules 

took it down. It was a four-line poem that read: 

lis humble abode s no mortal abode: 
cottage devisecP by the Guardians of Law, 
ho gave the wondrous balm to heal your sore. 

■et not and do your best to quell the fiend. 

Pilgrim said, “A bunch of roguish deities! Since we changed to the dragonhorse, I had not taken a roll call of them. Now they are 
playing tricks on me instead!” 

“Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “stop putting on such airs! How would they ever let you check them off the roll?” “Brother,” said 
Pilgrim, “you don’t know about this. These Eighteen Protectors of Monasteries, the Six Gods of Darkness and Six Gods of Light, the 
Guardians of Five Points, and the Four Sentinels all have been ordered by the Bodhisattva to give secret protection to Master. The 
other day they reported their names to me, but since you have been with us, I have not made use of them. That’s why I haven’t made a 
roll call.” “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “if they were ordered to give secret protection to Master, they had reason not to reveal 
themselves. That’s why they had to devise this cottage here, and you shouldn’t blame them. After all, they did put ointment on your 
eyes for you yesterday, and they did take care of us for one meal. You can say that they have done their duty. Don’t blame them. Let’s 
go and rescue Master.” “Brother, you are right,” said Pilgrim. “This place is not far from the Yellow Wind Cave. You had better stay 
here and look after the horse and luggage in the woods. Let old Monkey go into the cave to make some inquiry after the condition of 
Master. Then we can do battle with the monster again.” “Exactly,” said Eight Rules. “You should find out whether Master is dead or 
alive; if he’s dead, each one of us can tend to our own business; if he’s not, we can do our best to discharge our responsibility.” Pilgrim 
said, “Stop talking nonsense! I’m off!” 

With one leap he arrived at the entrance of the cave and found the door still shut and the inhabitants sound asleep. Pilgrim neither 
made any noise nor disturbed the monsters; making the magic sign and reciting the spell, he shook his body and changed at once into a 
spotted-leg mosquito. It was tiny and delicate, for which we have a testimonial poem: 

pesky small shape with sharp sting; 

is tiny voice can hum like thunder! 

lept at piercing gauze nets and orchid rooms, 

2 likes the warm, sultry climate. 

? fears incense and swatting fans, 
it dearly loves bright lights and lamps, 
ry, agile, all too clever and fast, 

? flies into the fiend s cave. ^ ® 

The little demon who was supposed to guard the door was lying there asleep, snoring. Pilgrim gave him a bite on his face, causing the 
little demon to roll over half awakened. “O my father!” he said. “What a big mosquito! One bite and I already have a big lump.” He 
then opened his eyes and said, “Why, it’s dawn!” Just then, the second door inside opened with a creak, and Pilgrim immediately flew 
in. The old monster was giving orders to all his subordinates to be especially careful in guarding the various entrances while they made 
ready their weapons. “If the wind yesterday did not kill that Pilgrim Sun,” he said, “he will certainly come back today. When he comes, 
we’ll finish him off.” 

Hearing this, Pilgrim flew past the main hall and arrived at the rear of the cave, where he found another door tightly shut. Crawling 
through a crack in the door, he discovered a large garden, in the middle of which, bound by ropes to a pole, was the Tang Monk. That 
master was shedding tears profusely, constantly wondering where Wukong and Wuneng were to be found. Pilgrim stopped his flight 
and alighted on his bald head, saying, “Master!” Recognizing his voice, the Elder said, “Wukong, I nearly died thinking of you! Where 
are you calling from?” “Master,” said Pilgrim, “I’m on your head. Calm yourself and stop worrying. We must first capture the monster 
before we can rescue you. “Disciple,” said the Tang Monk, “when will you be able to capture the monster?” “The Tiger Monster who 
took you,” said Pilgrim, “has already been slain by Eight Rules. But the wind of the old monster is a powerful weapon. I suspect we 
should be able to capture him today. Relax and stop crying. I’m leaving.” 

Having said that, he flew at once to the front, where the old monster was seated aloft, making a roll call of all the commanders of his 
troops. A little demon suddenly appeared, waving the command flag. He dashed up to the hall, crying, “Great King, this little one was 
on patrol in the mountain when he ran into a monk with a long snout and huge ears sitting in the woods not far from our entrance. If I 
hadn’t mn away quickly, he would have caught me. But I didn’t see that hairy-faced monk who came here yesterday.” “If Pilgrim Sun 
is absent,” said the old monster, “it may mean that he’s been killed by the wind. Or, he may have gone to try to find help.” “Great 
King,” said one of the demons, “it would be our good fortune if he had been killed. But suppose he’s not dead? If he succeeds in 
bringing with him some divine warriors, what shall we do then?” The old monster said, “Who’s afraid of any divine warrior? Only the 
Bodhisattva Lingji can overcome the power of my wind; no one else can do us any harm.” 

That Pilgrim resting on one of the beams above him was delighted by this one statement. He flew out of the cave at once and, 
changing back into his original fonn, arrived at the woods. “Brother!” he cried. Eight Rules asked, “Elder Brother, where have you 
been? Just now a monster with a command flag came by, and I chased him away.” “Thank you! Thank you!” said Pilgrim, laughing. 
“Old Monkey changed into a mosquito to enter the cave to see how Master was doing. I found him tied to a post in the garden, 
weeping. After telling him not to cry, I flew around the roof to spy on them some more. That was when the fellow who held the 
command flag came in panting, saying that you had chased him. He also said that he had not seen me. The old monster made some 
wild speculations about my having been killed by the wind, or else having gone to find help. Then, without being prompted, he 
suddenly mentioned someone else. It’s marvelous, simply marvelous!” “Whom did he mention?” asked Eight Rules. “He said that he 
wasn’t afraid of any divine warrior,” said Pilgrim, “for no one else could overpower his wind save the Bodhisattva Lingji. The only 
trouble is that I don’t know where this Lingji lives.” As they were thus conversing, they suddenly saw an aged man walking by the side 
of the main road. Look at his appearance: 

i'ong, he uses no cane to walk, 
ith flowing snowlike hair and beard. 

tough wit and eyes are quite dim and blurry, 
tin bones and sinews are still tough. 

ick and head bent he walked slowly, 
ith thick brows and a pink face, childlike. 

>ok at his features and they seem human, 
tough he's like Long-Life Star no less ^ 

Highly pleased when he caught sight of him. Eight Rules said, “Elder Brother, the proverb says: 

•u want to know the way, 
zar what the tourist say. 

Why don’t you approach him and ask?” 

The Great Sage put away his iron rod and straightened out his clothes. Approaching the old man, he said, “Aged Sir, receive my 
bow.” Somewhat reluctantly, the old man returned his greeting, saying, “What region are you from, monk? What are you doing here in 
this wilderness?” “We are holy monks on our way to seek scriptures,” said Pilgrim. “Yesterday we lost our master here, and so I’m 
approaching you to ask where the Bodhisattva Lingji lives.” “Lingji lives south of here,” said the old man, “about three thousand miles 
away. There is a mountain called the Little Sumeru Mountain, which has within it a Land of the Way, the Chan hall where the 
Bodhisattva lectures on sutras. I suppose you are trying to obtain scriptures from him.” “Not from him,” said Pilgrim, “but I have 
something that requires his attention. Will you please show me the way?” Pointing with his hand toward the south, the old man said, 
“Follow that winding path.” The Great Sage Sun was tricked into turning his head to look at the path, when the old man changed 
himself into a gentle breeze and vanished. A small slip of paper was left beside the road, on which was written this quatrain: 

1 tell the Equal to Heaven Great Sage, 
te old man is in truth one Long Life Li! 
i Sumeru’s the Flying-Dragon Staff, 
ngji in years past received this Buddhist arm. 

Pilgrim took up the slip and went back down the road. “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “our luck must have been rather bad lately. 
For two days we saw ghosts in broad daylight. Who is that old man who left after changing into a breeze?” Pilgrim gave Eight Rules 
the slip of paper. “Who is this Long-Life Li?” asked Eight Rules, when he had read the verse. “It’s the name of the Planet Venus from 
the West,” said Pilgrim. Eight Rules hurriedly bowed toward the sky, crying, “Benefactor! Benefactor! Had it not been for the Gold 
Star, who personally begged the Jade Emperor to be merciful, I don’t know what would have become of old Hog!” “Elder Brother,” 
said Pilgrim, “you do have a sense of gratitude. But don’t expose yourself. Take cover deep in the woods and carefully guard the 
luggage and the horse. Let old Monkey find the Sumeru Mountain and seek help from the Bodhisattva.” “I know, I know!” said Eight 
Rules. “Hurry up and go! Old Hog has mastered the law of the turtle: withdraw your head when you needn’t stick it out!” 

The Great Sage Sun leaped into the air; mounting the cloud-somersault, he headed straight south. He was fast, indeed! With a nod of 
his head, he covered three thousand miles; just a twist of his torso carried him over eight hundred! In a moment he saw a tall mountain 
with auspicious clouds hanging halfway up its slopes and holy mists gathered around it. In the fold of the mountain there was indeed a 
temple. He could hear the melodious sounds of the bells and sonorous stones 12 and could see the swirling smoke of incense. As he 
approached the door, the Great Sage saw a Daoist with a string of beads around his neck, who was reciting the name of Buddha. 
Pilgrim said, “Daoist, please accept my bow.” The Daoist at once bowed in return, saying, “Where did the venerable father come 
from?” “Is this where the Bodhisattva Lingji expounds the scriptures?” asked Pilgrim. “Indeed it is,” said the Daoist. “Do you wish to 
speak to someone?” 

“May I trouble you, sir, to make this announcement for me,” said Pilgrim. “I am the disciple of the master of the Law, Tripitaka, who 
is the royal brother of the Great Tang Emperor in the Land of the East; I am the Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, Sun Wukong, also 
named Pilgrim. I have a matter that requires me to have an audience with the Bodhisattva.” The Daoist laughed and said, “The 
venerable father has given me a long announcement! I can’t quite remember all those words.” “Just say that Sun Wukong, the disciple 
of the Tang Monk, has arrived,” said Pilgrim. 1 ’ 

The Daoist agreed and made that announcement in the lecture hall, whereupon the Bodhisattva at once put on his cassock and asked 
for more incense to be burned to welcome the visitor. Then the Great Sage walked in the door and peered inside. He saw 

hall full of brocade and silk; 
house most solemn and grand; 
ipils reciting the Lotus Sutra; 

1 old leader tapping the golden gong. 

■t before the Buddha 

2 re all immortal fruits and flowers. 

'read out on the altars 

2 re vegetarian dainties and viands. 

te bright, precious candles, 

leir golden flames shot up like rainbows; 

te fragrant true incense, 

jadelike smoke flew up as colored mists. 

i it was that, after the lecture one would calmly meditate, 

hen white-cloud flakes circled the tips ofpines. 

te wisdom sword retired, for Mara snapped 

this space of Prajha-paramita. 

The Bodhisattva straightened out his attire to receive Pilgrim, who entered the hall and took the seat of the guest. Tea was offered, but 
Pilgrim said, “No need for you to bother about tea. My master faces peril at the Yellow Wind Mountain, and I beseech the Bodhisattva 
to exercise his great dhanna power to defeat the monster and rescue him.” “I did receive the command of Tathagata,” said the 
Bodhisattva, “to keep the Yellow Wind Monster here in submission. Tathagata also gave me a Wind-Stopping Pearl and a Flying- 
Dragon Precious Staff. At the time when I captured him, I spared the monster his life only on condition that he would retire in the 
mountain and abstain from the sin of taking life. I did not know that he would want to harm your esteemed teacher and transgress the 
Law. That is my fault.” The Bodhisattva would have liked to prepare some vegetarian food to entertain Pilgrim, but Pilgrim insisted on 

leaving. So he took the Flying-Dragon Staff and mounted the clouds with the Great Sage. 

In a little while they reached the Yellow Wind Mountain. “Great Sage,” said the Bodhisattva, “this monster is rather afraid of me. I 
will stand here at the edge of the clouds while you go down there to provoke battle. Entice him to come out so that I may exercise my 
power.” Pilgrim followed his suggestion and lowered his cloud. 

Without waiting for further announcement, he whipped out his iron rod and smashed the door of the cave, crying, “Monster, give me 
back my Master!” Those little demons standing guard at the door were so terrified that they ran to make the report. “This lawless ape,” 
said the monster, “is truly ill-behaved! He would not defer to kindness, and now he has even broken my door! This time when I go out, 
I’m going to use that divine wind to blow him to death.” He put on his armor as before, and took up the steel trident. Walking out of 
the door and seeing Pilgrim, he did not utter a word before aiming the trident at Pilgrim’s chest. The Great Sage stepped aside to dodge 
this blow and then faced him with uplifted rod. Before they had fought for a few rounds, the monster turned his head toward the 
ground in the southwest and was about to open his mouth to summon the wind. From midair, the Bodhisattva threw down the Flying- 
Dragon Precious Staff as he recited some kind of spell. It was instantly transformed into a golden dragon with eight claws, two of 
which caught hold of that monster’s head and threw him two or three times against the boulders beside the mountain cliff. The monster 
changed back into his original form and became a mink with yellow fur. 

Pilgrim ran up and was about to strike with his rod, but he was stopped by the Bodhisattva, who said to him, “Great Sage, do not 
harm him. I have to take him back to see Tathagata. Originally he was a rodent at the foot of the Spirit Mountain who had acquired the 
Way. Because he stole some of the pure oil in the crystal chalice, he fled for fear that the vajra attendants would seize him. Tathagata 
thought that he was not guilty of death, and that is why I was asked to capture him in the first place and banish him to this region. But 
now he has offended the Great Sage and has attempted to harm the Tang Monk. Therefore I must take him to see Tathagata so that his 
guilt may be clearly established. Only then will this merit be completed.” When Pilgrim heard this, he thanked the Bodhisattva, who 
left for the West, and we shall say no more of that. 

We now tell you about Zhu Eight Rules, who was thinking about Pilgrim in the woods when he heard someone calling down by the 
slope, “Brother Wuneng, bring the horse and the luggage here.” Recognizing Pilgrim’s voice, Idiot quickly ran out of the woods and 
said to Pilgrim, “Elder Brother, how did everything go?” “I invited the Bodhisattva Lingji to come here,” said Pilgrim, “to use his 
Flying-Dragon Staff to capture the monster. He was a mink with yellow fur who became a spirit and has now been taken by the 
Bodhisattva to Spirit Mountain to face Tathagata. Let’s go into the cave to rescue Master.” Idiot was delighted. The two of them 
smashed their way into the cave and with their rake and rod slaughtered all the wily hares, the vixen, the musk deer, and the homed 
deer. Then they went to the garden in the back to rescue their master, who, after coming out, asked, “How did you two manage to catch 
the monster so that you could rescue me?” Pilgrim gave a thorough account of how he went to seek the Bodhisattva’s help to subdue 
the monster, and the master thanked him profusely. Then the two brothers found some vegetarian food in the cave, which they prepared 
along with some tea and rice. After eating, they left and again found the road to the West. 


8 Rules fights fiercely at the Flowing-Sand River; 

Moksa by order receives Wujing s submission. 

Now we tell you about the Tang Monk and his disciples, the three travelers, who were delivered from their ordeal. In less than a day 
they passed the Yellow Wind Mountain and proceeded toward the West through a vast level plain. Time went by swiftly, and summer 
yielded to the arrival of autumn. All they saw were some 

old cicadas sing on dying willows 
■ the Great Fire rolls toward the West. 

As they proceeded, they came upon a huge and turbulent river, its waves surging and splashing. ‘"Disciples,” exclaimed Tripitaka, 
‘‘look at that vast expanse of water in front of us. Why are there no boats in sight? How can we get across?” Taking a close look, Eight 
Rules said, “It’s very turbulent, too rough for any boat!” Pilgrim leaped into the air and peered into the distance, shading his eyes with 
his hand. Even he became somewhat frightened and said, “Master, it’s truly hard! Truly hard! If old Monkey wishes to cross this river, 
he need only make one twist of his body and he will reach the other shore. But for you. Master, it’s a thousand times more difficult, for 
you can’t traverse it even in ten thousand years!” 

“I can’t even see the other shore from here,” said Tripitaka. “Really, how wide is it?” 

“It’s just about eight hundred miles wide,” said Pilgrim. “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “how could you determine its width just 
like that?” 

“To tell you the truth, Worthy Brother,” said Pilgrim, “these eyes of mine can determine good or evil up to a thousand miles away in 
daylight. Just now when I was up in the air, I could not tell how long the river was, but I could make out its width to be at least eight 
hundred miles.” 

Sighing anxiously, the elder pulled back his horse and suddenly discovered on the shore a slab of stone. When the three of them 
drew closer to have a look, they saw three words written in seal-script (“Flowing-Sand River”) below which there were also four lines 
written in regular style. It read: 

iese Flowing-Sand metes, eight hundred wide; 
lese Weak Waters, three thousand deep, 
goose feather cannot stay afloat; 
rush petal will sink to the bottom. 

As master and disciples were reading the inscription, the waves in the river suddenly rose like tall mountains, and with a loud splash 
from the midst of the waters a monster sprang out. Looking most savage and hideous, he had 

head full of tousled and flame-like hair; 

pair of bright, round eyes which shone like lamps; 

i indigo face, neither black nor green; 

1 old dragon’s voice like thunderclap or drum. 

2 wore a cape of light yellow goose down. 

vo strands of white reeds tied around his waist, 
meath his chin nine skulls were strung and hung; 
is hands held an awesome priestly staff. 

Like a cyclone, the fiend rushed up to the shore and went straight for the Tang Monk. Pilgrim was so taken aback that he grabbed his 
master and dashed for high ground to make the escape. Putting down the pole, Eight Rules whipped out his rake and brought it down 
hard on the monster. The fiend used his staff to parry the blow, and so the two of them began to unleash their power on the bank of the 
Flowing-Sand River. This was some battle! 

ie nine-pronged rake; 

le fiend-routing staff; 

iese two met in battle on the river shore. 

us one was the Marshal of Heavenly Reeds: 

mt one was the Curtain-Raising Captain by the Throne. 

years past they met in Divine Mists Hall; 

•day they fought and waged a test of might. 

■om this one the rake went out like a dragon stretching its claws; 

•om that one the staff blocked the way like a sharp-tusked elephant. 

ley stood with their limbs outstretched; 

ich struck at the other's rib cage. 

us one raked madly, heedless of head or face; 

mt one struck wildly without pause or rest. 

lis one was a cannibal spirit, long a lord of Flowing-Sand; 

lat one was a Way-seeking fighter upholding Law and Faith. 

Closing in again and again, the two of them fought for twenty rounds, but neither emerged the victor. 

The Great Sage meanwhile was standing there to protect the Tang Monk. As he held the horse and guarded the luggage, he became 
so aroused by the sight of Eight Rules engaging that fiend that he ground his teeth and rubbed his hands vehemently. Finally he could 
not restrain himself—whipping out the rod, he said, “Master, sit here and don’t be afraid. Let old Monkey go play with him a little.” 
The master begged in vain for him to stay, and with a loud whoop he leaped forward. The monster, you see, was just having a grand 
time fighting with Eight Rules, the two of them so tightly locked in combat that nothing seemed able to part them. Pilgrim, however, 
rushed up to the monster and delivered a terrific blow at his head with his iron rod. The monster was so shaken that he jumped aside: 
turning around he dove straight into the Flowing-Sand River and disappeared. Eight Rules was so upset that he leaped about wildly, 
crying, “Elder Brother! Who asked you to come? The monster was gradually weakening and was finding it difficult to parry my rake. 
Another four or five rounds and I would have captured him. But when he saw how fierce you were, he fled in defeat. Now, what shall 
we do?” “Brother,” said Pilgrim laughing, “to tell you the truth, since defeating the Yellow Wind Fiend a month ago, I have not played 

with my rod all this time after leaving the mountain . 1 When I saw how delicious your fight with him was, I couldn’t stand the itch 
beneath my feet! That’s why I jumped up here to have some fun with him. That monster doesn’t know how to play, and I suppose that’s 
the reason for his departure.” 

Holding hands and teasing each other, the two of them returned to the Tang Monk. “Did you catch the monster?” asked the Tang 
Monk. “He didn’t last out the fight,” said Pilgrim, “and he scrambled back to the water in defeat.” “Disciple,” said Tripitaka, “since 
this monster has probably lived here a long time, he ought to know the deep and the shallow parts of the river. After all, such a 
boundless body of weak water, and not a boat in sight—we need someone who is familiar with the region to lead us across.” 
“Exactly!” said Pilgrim. “As the proverb says, 

? who's near cinnabar turns red; 

? who’s near ink becomes black. 

The monster living here must have a good knowledge of the water. When we catch him, we should not slay him, but just make him 
take Master across the river before we dispose of him.” “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “no need for further delay. You go ahead and 
catch him, while old Hog guards our master.” 

“Worthy Brother,” said Pilgrim with a laugh, “in this case I’ve really nothing to brag about, for I’m just not comfortable doing 
business in water. If all I do is walk around down there, I still have to make the magic sign and recite the water-repelling spell before I 
can move anywhere. Or else I have to change into a water creature like a fish, shrimp, crab, or turtle before going in. If it were a matter 
of matching wits in the high mountains or up in the clouds, I know enough to deal with the strangest and most difficult situation. But 
doing business in water somewhat cramps my style!” 

“When I was Marshal of the Heavenly River in former years,” said Eight Rules, “I commanded a naval force of eighty thousand 
men, and I acquired some knowledge of that element. But I fear that that monster may have a few relatives down there in his den, and I 
won’t be able to withstand him if his seventh and eighth cousins all come out. What will happen to me then if they grab me?” “If you 
go into the water to fight him,” said Pilgrim, “don’t tarry. Make sure, in fact, that you feign defeat and entice him out here. Then old 
Monkey will help you.” “Right you are,” said Eight Rules. “I’m off!” He took off his blue silk shirt and his shoes; holding the rake 
with both hands, he divided the waters to make a path for himself. Using the ability he had developed in bygone years, he leaped 
through billows and waves and headed for the bottom of the river. 

We now tell you about that monster, who went back to his home in defeat. He had barely caught his breath when he heard someone 
pushing water, and as he rose to take a look, he saw Eight Rules pushing his way through with his rake. That monster lifted his staff 
and met him face to face, crying, “Monk, watch where you are going or you’ll receive a blow from this!” Using the rake to block the 
blow, Eight Rules said, “What sort of a monster are you that you dare to bar our way?” “So you don’t recognize me,” said the monster. 
“I’m no demon or fiend, nor do I lack a name or surname.” “If you are no demon or fiend,” said Eight Rules, “why do you stay here 
and take human lives? Tell me your name and surname, and I’ll spare your life.” The monster said: 

k fy spirit was strong since the time of birth. 

mce made a tour of the universe, 

here my fame as a hero became well-known — 

gallant type for all to emulate. 

trough countless nations I went as I pleased; 

ver lakes and seas I did freely roam. 

• learn the Way I strayed to Heaven’s edge; 

• find a teacher I stumped this great earth. 

ir years my clothes and alms bowl went with me: 

)t for one day did my spirit turn lax. 

)r scores of times I cruised cloudlike the earth 

id walked to all places a hundred times. 

nly then a true immortal I did meet, 

ho showed me the Great Path of Golden Light. 

ook back Baby Boy and Fair Girl first, 

ten released Wood Mother and Squire of Gold. ^ 

•ight Hall kidney-brine flooded Floral Pool 
te Tower 's^ liver-fire plunged to the heart, 
tree thousand merits done, I saw Heaven's face 
id solemnly worshipped the Point of Light, 
ten the Jade Emperor exalted me; 
i e Curtain-Raising Captain he made me. 
i honored one in South Heaven Gate, 
vas much esteemed at Divine Mists Hall, 
lung at my waist the Tiger-Headed Shield: 
teld in my hands the Fiend-Routing Staff, 
st like the sunlight my gold helmet shone; 
y body's armor flashed like radiant mists, 
vas chief of the guardians of the Throne: 
vas first as attendant of the court, 
hen Queen Mother gave the Festival of Peach — 

<e served her guests at Jasper Pool a feast — 

Iropped and broke a glass-like cup of jade, 

id souls from all the hosts of Heaven fled. 

de Emperor grew mightily enraged; 

inds clasped, he faced his counsel on the left. 

ripped of my hat, my armor, and my rank, 

tad my whole body pushed to the block. 

nly the Great Immortal, Naked Feet, 

ime from the ranks and begged to have me freed. 

irdoned from death and with my sentence stayed, 

vas sent to the shores of Flowing-Sand. 

\ted, I lie wearily in the stream; 
imished, I churn the waves to find my feed, 
te woodsman sees me and his life is gone; 
i e fishers face me and they soon perish. 

■om first to last I’ve eaten many men; 
ver and over I took human lives. 

nee you dare to work violence at my door, 
y stomach this day has its fondest hopes! 
on’t say you ’re too coarse to be eaten now. 

7 catch you, and look, that’s my minced meat sauce! ” 

Infuriated by what he heard, Eight Rules shouted, “You brazen thing! You haven’t the slightest perception! Old Hog is tempting 
enough to make people’s mouths water, and you dare say that I’m coarse, that I'm to be chopped up for a chopped meat sauce! Come 
to think of it, you would like to consider me a piece of tough old bacon! Watch your manners and swallow this rake of your ancestor!” 
When the monster saw the rake coming, he used the style of “the phoenix nodding its head” to dodge the blow. The two of them thus 
fought to the surface of the water, each one treading the waters and waves. This conflict was somewhat different from the one before. 
Look at 

ie Curtain-Raising Captain, 

le Marshal of Heavenly Reeds: 

ich showing most nicely his magic might. 

us one waved above his head the fiend-routing staff: 

tat one moved the rake as swiftly as his hand. 

ie vaulting waves rocked hills and streams; 

le surging tide the cosmos dimmed. 

wage like Jupiter wielding banners and flags! 

erce like Hell’s envoy upsetting sacred tops! 

us one guarded the Tang Monk devotedly; 

mt one, a water fiend, perpetrated his crimes. 

ie rake’s one stroke would leave nine red marks: 

ie staffs one blow would dissolve man s soul. 

ley strove to win the fight; 

ley struggled to prevail. 

I in all for the scripture pilgrim’s sake, 

tey vented their fury without restraint. 

xey brawled till carps and perches lost their newborn scales, 

id all turtles damaged their tender shells. 

id shrimps and purple crabs all lost their lives, 

id sundry water gods all upward bowed! 

•u heard only the waves rolled and crashed like thunderclaps, 
ie world amazed saw sun and moon grow dark! 

The two of them fought for two hours, and neither prevailed. It was like 

brass pan meeting an iron broom, 
jade gong facing a golden bell. 

We now tell you about the Great Sage, who was standing guard beside the Tang Monk. With bulging eyes he watched them fighting 
on the water, but he dared not lift his hands. Finally, Eight Rules made a half-hearted blow with his rake and, feigning defeat, turned to 
flee toward the eastern shore. The monster gave chase and was about to reach the river bank when our Pilgrim could no longer restrain 
himself. He abandoned his master, whipped out the iron rod, leaped to the riverside and struck at the monster’s head. Fearing to face 
him, the monster swiftly dove back into the river. “You BanHorsePlague!” shouted Eight Rules. “You impulsive ape! Can’t you be a bit 
more patient? You could have waited until I led him up to high ground and then blocked his path to the river. We would have caught 
him then. Now he has gone back in, and when do you think he’ll come out again?” “Idiot,” said Pilgrim laughing, “stop shouting! Let’s 
go talk to Master first.” 

Eight Rules went with Pilgrim back to high ground to Tripitaka. “Disciple,” said Tripitaka, bowing, “you must be tired!” “I won’t 
complain about my fatigue,” said Eight Rules. “Let’s subdue the monster and take you across the river. Only that plan is perfect!” 
Tripitaka said, “How did the battle go with the monster just now?” “He was just about my equal,” said Eight Rules, “and we fought to 
a draw. But then I feigned defeat and he chased me up to the bank. When he saw Elder Brother lifting his rod, however, he fled.” “So 
what are we going to do?” asked Tripitaka. “Master, relax!” said Pilgrim. “Let’s not worry now, for it’s getting late. You sit here on the 
cliff and let old Monkey go beg some vegetarian food. Take some rest after you eat, and we’ll find a solution tomorrow.” “You are 
right,” said Eight Rules. “Go, and come back quickly.” 

Pilgrim swiftly mounted the clouds and went north to beg a bowl of vegetarian food from a family to present to his master. When the 
master saw him return so soon, he said, “Wukong, let us go to that household which gave us the food and ask them how we may cross 
this river. Isn’t this better than fighting the monster?” With a laugh, Pilgrim said, “That household is quite far from here, about six or 
seven thousand miles, no less! How could the people there know about the water? What’s the use of asking them?” “You are fibbing 
again, Elder Brother!” said Eight Rules. “Six or seven thousand miles, how could you cover that distance so quickly?” “You have no 
idea,” said Pilgrim, “about the capacity of my cloud somersault, which with one leap can cover one hundred and eight thousand miles. 
For the six or seven thousand here, all I have to do is to nod my head and stretch my waist, and that’s a round trip already! What’s so 
hard about that?” 

“Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “if it’s so easy, all you need to do is to carry Master on your back: nod your head, stretch your 
waist, and jump across. Why continue to fight this monster?” “Don’t you know how to ride the clouds?” asked Pilgrim. “Can’t you 
carry him across the river?” 

“The mortal nature and worldly bones of Master are as heavy as the Tai Mountain,” Eight Rules said. “How could my cloud soaring 
bear him up? It has to be your cloud somersault.” “My cloud somersault is essentially like cloud soaring,” said Pilgrim, “the only 
difference being that I can cover greater distances more rapidly. If you can’t carry him, what makes you think I can? There’s an old 
proverb that says: 

ove Mount Tai: it s light as mustard seeds, 
ft a man and you won't leave the red dust! 

Take this monster here: he can use spells and call upon the wind, pushing and pulling a little, but he can’t carry a human into the air. 
And if it’s this kind of magic, old Monkey knows every trick well, including becoming invisible and making distances shorter. But it is 
required of Master to go through all these strange territories before he finds deliverance from the sea of sorrows; hence even one step 

turns out to be difficult. You and I are only his protective companions, guarding his body and life, but we cannot exempt him from 
these woes, nor can we obtain the scriptures all by ourselves. Even if we had the ability to go and see Buddha first, he would not 
bestow the scriptures on you and me. Remember the adage: 

hat’s easily gotten 
soon forgotten. ” 

When Idiot heard these words, he accepted them amiably as instruction. Master and disciples ate some of the simply prepared 
vegetarian food before resting on the eastern shore of the Flowing-Sand River. 

The next morning, Tripitaka said, “Wukong, what are we going to do today?” “Not much,” said Pilgrim, “except that Eight Rules 
must go into the water again.” “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “you only want to stay clean, but you have no hesitation making me 
go into the water.” “Worthy Brother,” said Pilgrim, “this time I’ll try not to be impulsive. I’ll let you trick him into coming up here, and 
then I’ll block his retreat along the river bank. We must capture him.” Dear Eight Rules! Wiping his face, he pulled himself together. 
Holding the rake in both hands, he walked to the edge of the river, opened up a path in the water, and went to the monster’s home as 
before. The monster had just wakened from his sleep when he heard the sound of water. Turning quickly to look, he saw Eight Rules 
approaching with the rake. He leaped out at once and barred the way, shouting, “Slow down! Watch out for my staff!” Eight Rules 
lifted his rake to parry the blow, saying, “What sort of mourning staff do you have there that you dare ask your ancestor to watch out 
for it?” “A fellow like you,” said the monster, “wouldn’t recognize this! 

ir years my staff has enjoyed great fame, 
first an evergreen tree in the moon, 
u Ganfp cut down from it one huge limb: 
t Ban then made it, using all his skills, 
ithin the hub's one solid piece of gold: 
utside it's wrapped by countless pearly threads. 
s called the treasure stafffor crushing fiends, 

'er placed in Divine Mists to quell the ogres. 

nee I had made a mighty general s rank, 

de Emperor put it always by my side. 

lengthens or shortens after my desire; 

grows thick or thin with my command. 

went to guard the Throne at the Peaches Feast: 

served at court in Heaven’s world above. 

n duty it saw the many sages bowed, 

id immortals, too, when the screen rolled up. 

f numinous power one arm divine, 

s no worldly weapon of humankind. 

nee I was banished from the gate of Heav ’n, 

roamed with me at will beyond the seas. 

irhaps it is not right for me to boast, 

it swords and spears of man can’t match this staff. 

>ok at that old, rusted muckrake of yours: 
t only for hoeing fields and raking herbs! ” 

“You unchastened brazen thing!” said Eight Rules, laughing. “Never mind whether it’s fit for hoeing fields! One little touch and you 
won’t even know how to begin putting bandages or ointment on nine bleeding holes! Even if you are not killed, you will grow old with 
chronic infection!” The monster raised his hands and again fought with Eight Rules from the bottom of the river up to the surface of 
the water. This battle was even more different from the first one. Look at them 

ielding the treasure staff, 
nking with muckrake; 

tey would not speak as if they were estranged, 
nee Wood Mother constrained the Spatula, ^ 
tat caused the two to fight most fiercely. 

> win or loss; 
ith no regret. 

tey churned up waves and billows with no peace. 

iw could this one control his bitter rage; 

rnt one found unbearable his pain. 

ike and staff went back and forth to show their might; 

le water rotted like poison in Flowing-Sand. 

ley huffed and puffed! 

ley worked and toiled! 

I because Tripitaka would face the West. 

le muckrake so ferocious! 

te staff so nimbly used! 

tis one made a grab to pull him up the shore; 

tat one sought to seize and drown him in the stream. 

tey roared like thunder, stirring dragon and fish. 

ids and ghosts cowered as the Heavens grew dim. 

This time they fought back and forth for thirty rounds, and neither one proved to be the stronger. Again Eight Rules pretended to be 
defeated and fled, dragging his rake. Kicking up the waves, the monster gave chase and they reached the edge of the river. “Wretch!” 
cried Eight Rules. “Come up here! We can fight better on solid ground up here.” “You are just trying to trick me into going up there,” 
scolded the monster, “so that you can bring out your assistant. You come down here, and we can fight in the water.” The monster, you 
see, had become wise; he refused to go up to the bank and remained near the edge of the water to argue with Eight Rules. 

When Pilgrim saw that the monster refused to leave the water, he became highly irritated, and all he could think of was to catch him 
at once. “Master,” he said, “you sit here. Let me give him a taste of the ‘ravenous eagle seizing his prey.’” He somersaulted into the air 
and then swooped down onto the monster, who was still bickering with Eight Rules. When he heard the sound of the wind, he turned 
quickly and discovered Pilgrim hurtling down from the clouds. Putting away his staff, he dove into the water and disappeared. Pilgrim 
stood on the shore and said to Eight Rules, “Brother, that monster is catching on! He refuses to come up now. What shall we do?” “It’s 
hard, terribly hard!” said Eight Rules. “I just can’t beat him—even when I summoned up the strength of my milk-drinking days! We 
are evenly matched!” “Let’s go talk to Master,” said Pilgrim. 

The two of them went up again to high ground and told the Tang Monk everything. “If it’s so difficult,” said the Elder, tears welling 
up in his eyes, “how can we ever get across?” “Master, please don’t worry,” said Pilgrim. “It is hard for us to cross with this monster 
hiding deep in the river. So, don’t fight with him any more, Eight Rules; just stay here and protect Master. I’m going to make a trip up 
to South Sea.” “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “what do you want to do at South Sea?” Pilgrim said, “This business of seeking 
scriptures originated from the Bodhisattva Guanyin; the one who delivered us from our ordeals was also the Bodhisattva Guanyin. 
Today our path is blocked at this Flowing-Sand River and we can’t proceed. Without her, how can we ever solve our problem? Let me 
go ask her to help us: it’s much better than doing battle with this monster.” “You have a point there, Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules. 
“When you get there, please convey my gratitude to her for her kindly instructions in the past.” “Wukong,” said Tripitaka, “if you want 
to go see the Bodhisattva, you needn’t delay. Go, and hurry back.” 

Pilgrim catapulted into the air with his cloud somersault and headed for the South Sea. Ah! It did not even take him half an hour 
before he saw the scenery of the Potalaka Mountain. In a moment, he dropped down from his somersault and arrived at the edge of the 
purple bamboo grove, where he was met by the Spirits of the Twenty-Four Ways. They said to him, “Great Sage, what brings you 
here?” “My master faces an ordeal,” said Pilgrim, “which brings me here specially to see the Bodhisattva.” “Please take a seat,” said 
the spirits, “and allow us to make the announcement.” One of the spirits who was on duty went to the entrance of the Tidal-Sound 
Cave, announcing, “Sun Wukong wishes to have an audience with you.” The Bodhisattva was leaning on the rails by the Treasure 
Lotus Pool, looking at the flowers with the Pearl-Bearing Dragon Princess. When she heard the announcement, she went back to the 
cave, opened the door, and asked that he be shown in. With great solemnity, the Great Sage prostrated himself before her. 

“Why are you not accompanying the Tang Monk?” asked the Bodhisattva. “For what reason did you want to see me again?” 
“Bodhisattva,” said Pilgrim, looking up at her, “my master took another disciple at the Gao Village, to whom you had given the 
religious name of Wuneng. After crossing the Yellow Wind Ridge, we have now arrived at the Flowing-Sand River eight hundred 
miles wide, a body of weak water, which is difficult for Master to get across. There is, moreover, a monster in the river who is quite 
accomplished in the martial arts. We are grateful to Wuneng, who fought in the water with him three times but could not beat him. The 
monster is, in fact, blocking our path and we cannot get across. That is why I have come to see you, hoping you will take pity and grant 
us deliverance.” 

“Monkey,” said the Bodhisattva, “are you still acting so smug and self-sufficient that you refuse to disclose the fact that you are in 
the service of the Tang Monk?” “All we had intended to do,” said Pilgrim, “was to catch the monster and make him take Master across 
the river. I am not too good at doing business in the water, so Wuneng went down alone to his lair to look for him, and they had some 
conversation. I presume the matter of scripture seeking was not mentioned.” 

“That monster in the Flowing-Sand River,” said the Bodhisattva, “happens to be the incarnate Curtain-Raising Captain, who was 
also brought into the faith by my persuasion when I told him to accompany those on their way to acquire scriptures. Had you been 
willing to mention that you were a scripture pilgrim from the Land of the East, he would not have fought you; he would have yielded 
instead.” Pilgrim said, “That monster is afraid to fight now; he refuses to come up to the shore and is hiding deep in the water. How 
can we bring him to submission? How can my master get across this body of weak water?” 

The Bodhisattva immediately called for Hui’an. Taking a little red gourd from her sleeves, she handed it over to him, saying, “Take 
this gourd and go with Sun Wukong to the Flowing-Sand River. Call ‘Wujing,’ and he’ll come out at once. You must first take him to 
submit to the Tang Monk. Next, string together those nine skulls of his and arrange them according to the position of the Nine Palaces. 
Put this gourd in the center, and you will have a dharma vessel ready to ferry the Tang Monk across the boundary formed by the 
Flowing-Sand River.” Obeying the instructions of his master, Hui’an left the Tidal-Sound Cave with the Great Sage carrying the gourd. 
As they departed the purple bamboo grove in compliance with the holy command, we have a testimonial poem: 

ie Five Phases well matched as Heaven's truth, 
is former master he can recognize, 
fine the self as base for wondrous use; 
ood and bad discerned will reveal the cause, 
etal returns to nature—the same kind are both, 
ood begs for favor: they ’ll all be redeemed. 
vo-Earths ^ completes merit to reach the void: 
iter and fire blended, dustless and clean. 

In a little while the two of them lowered their clouds and arrived at the Flowing-Sand River. Recognizing the disciple Moksa, Zhu 
Eight Rules led his master to receive him. After bowing to Tripitaka, Moksa then greeted Eight Rules, who said, “I was grateful to be 
instructed by Your Reverence so that I could meet the Bodhisattva. I have indeed obeyed the Law, and I am happy recently to have 
entered the gate of Buddhism. Since we have been constantly on the road, I have yet to thank you. Please forgive me.” “Let’s forget 
about these fancy conversations,” said Pilgrim. “We must go and call that fellow.” “Call whom?” asked Tripitaka. Pilgrim replied, “Old 
Monkey saw the Bodhisattva and gave her an account of what happened. The Bodhisattva told me that this monster in the Flowing- 
Sand River happened to be the incarnation of the Curtain-Raising Captain. Because he had sinned in Heaven, he was banished to this 
river and became a monster. But he was converted by the Bodhisattva, who had told him to accompany you to the Western Heaven. 
Since we did not mention the matter of seeking scriptures, he fought us bitterly. Now the Bodhisattva has sent Moksa with this gourd, 
which that fellow will turn into a dharma vessel to take you across the river.” When Tripitaka heard these words, he bowed repeatedly 
to Moksa, saying, “I beseech Your Reverence to act quickly.” Holding the gourd and treading half on cloud and half on fog, Moksa 
moved directly above the surface of the Flowing-Sand River. He cried with a loud voice, “Wujing! Wujing! The scripture pilgrim has 
been here for a long time. Why have you not submitted?” 

We now tell you about that monster who, fearful of the Monkey King, had gone back to the bottom of the river to rest in his den. 
When he heard someone call him by his religious name, he knew that it had to be the Bodhisattva Guanyin. And when he heard, 
moreover, that the scripture pilgrim had arrived, he no longer feared the ax or the halberd. Swiftly he leaped out of the waves and saw 
that it was the disciple Moksa. Look at him! All smiles, he went forward and bowed, saying, “Your Reverence, forgive me for not 
coming to meet you. Where is the Bodhisattva?” “My teacher did not come,” said Moksa, “but she sent me to tell you to become the 

disciple of the Tang Monk without delay. You are to take the skulls around your neck and this gourd, and to fashion with them a 
dharma vessel according to the position of the Nine Palaces so that he may be taken across this body of weak water.” “Where is the 
scripture pilgrim?” asked Wujing. Pointing with his finger, Moksa said, “Isn’t he the one sitting on the eastern shore?” 

Wujing caught sight of Eight Rules and said, “I don’t know where that lawless creature came from! He fought with me for two 
whole days, never once saying a word about seeking scriptures.” When he saw Pilgrim, he said again. “That customer is his assistant, 
and a formidable one, too! I’m not going over there!” “That is Zhu Eight Rules,” said Moksa, “and that other one is Pilgrim Sun, both 
disciples of the Tang Monk and both converted by the Bodhisattva. Why fear them? I’ll escort you to the Tang Monk.” Only then did 
Wujing put away his precious staff and straighten his yellow silk shirt. 

He jumped ashore and knelt before Tripitaka, saying, “Master, your disciple has eyes but no pupils, and he failed to recognize your 
noble features. I have greatly offended you, and I beg you to pardon me.” “You bum!” said Eight Rules. “Why did you not submit in 
the first place? Why did you only want to fight with me? What do you have to say for yourself?” “Brother,” said Pilgrim, laughing, 
“don’t berate him. It’s really our fault for not mentioning that we were seeking scriptures, and we didn’t tell him our names.” “Are you 
truly willing to embrace our faith?” said the elder. “Your disciple was converted by the Bodhisattva,” said Wujing. “Deriving my 
surname from the river, she gave me the religious name Sha Wujing. How could I be unwilling to take you as my master?” “In that 
case,” said Tripitaka, “Wukong may bring over the sacred razor and shave off his hair.” The Great Sage indeed took the razor and 
shaved Wujing’s head, after which he came again to pay homage to Tripitaka, Pilgrim, and Eight Rules, thus becoming the youngest 
disciple of the Tang Monk. When Tripitaka saw that he comported himself very much like a monk, he gave him the nickname of Sha 
Monk. “Since you have embraced the faith,” said Moksa, “there’s no need for further delay. You must build the dharma vessel at 

Not daring to delay, Wujing took off the skulls around his neck and strung them up with a rope after the design of the Nine Palaces, 
placing the gourd in the middle. He then asked his master to leave the shore, and our elder thus embarked on the dharma vessel. As he 
sat in the center, he found it to be as sturdy as a little boat. He was, moreover, supported by Eight Rules on his left and Wujing on his 
right, while Pilgrim Sun, leading the dragon-horse, followed in the rear, treading half on cloud and half on fog. Above their heads 
Moksa also took up his post to give them added protection. In this way our master of the Law was safely ferried across the boundary of 
the Flowing-Sand River: with the wind calm and waves quiet he crossed the weak water. It was truly as fast as flying or riding an 
arrow, for in a little while he reached the other shore, having been delivered from the mighty waves. He did not drag up mud or water, 
and happily both his hands and feet remained dry. In sum, he was pure and clean without engaging in any activity. When master and 
disciples reached solid ground again, Moksa descended from the auspicious clouds. As he took back his gourd, the nine skulls changed 
into nine curls of dark wind and vanished. Tripitaka bowed to thank Moksa and also gave thanks to the Bodhisattva. So it was that Moksa 
went straight back to the South Sea, while Tripitaka mounted his horse to go to the West. 


Tripitaka does not forget his origin; 

The 4 Sages test the priestly mind. 

long journey westward is his decree, 

: frosted blooms fall in autumn’s mild breeze, 
e up the sly ape, don't loosen the ropes! 
old back the mean horse, and don't use the whip! 
bod Mother was once fused with Metal Squire; 

How Dame and Naked Son ne ’er did differ. ^ 
te open the iron ball — there’s mystery true: 
irfection of wisdom will come to you. 

The principal aim of this chapter is to make clear that the way to acquire scriptures is no different from the way of attending to the 
fundamentals in one’s life. 

We now tell you about master and disciples, the four of them, who, having awakened to the suchness of all things, broke free from 
the fetters of dust. Leaping clear from the sea of nature’s flowing sand, they were completely rid of any hindrance and proceeded 
westward on the main road. They passed through countless green hills and blue waters; they saw wild grass and untended flowers in 
endless arrays. Time was swift indeed and soon it was autumn again. You see 

aple leaves redden the mountain; 
llow blooms endure the night-wind. 

\d cicada's song turns languid; 

<d crickets ever voice their plaint. 

•acked lotus leaves like green silk fans; 

■agrant oranges like gold balls, 
ively, those rows of wild geese, 
dots they spread to distant sky. 

As they journeyed, it was getting late again. “Disciples,” said Tripitaka, “it’s getting late. Where shall we go to spend the night?” 
“Master,” said Pilgrim, “what you said is not quite right. Those who have left home dine on the winds and rest beside the waters; they 
sleep beneath the moon and lie on the frost; in short, any place can be their home. Why ask where we should spend the night?” “Elder 
Brother,” said Zhu Eight Rules, “all you seem to care about is making progress on the journey, and you’ve no concern for the burdens 
of others. Since crossing the Flowing-Sand River, we have been doing nothing but scaling mountains and peaks, and hauling this heavy 
load is becoming rather hard on me. Wouldn’t it be much more reasonable to look for a house where we can ask for some tea and rice, 
and try to regain our strength?” 

“Idiot,” said Pilgrim, “your words sound as if you begrudge this whole enterprise. If you think that you are still back in the Gao 
Village, where you can enjoy the comfort that comes to you without your exerting yourself, then you won’t make it! If you have truly 
embraced the faith of Buddhism, you must be willing to endure pain and suffering; only then will you be a true disciple.” “Elder 
Brother,” said Eight Rules, “how heavy do you think this load of luggage is?” Pilgrim said, “Brother, since you and Sha Monk joined 
us, I haven’t had a chance to pole it. How would I know its weight?” “Ah! Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “just count the things here: 

mr yellow rattan mats; 
mg and short, eight ropes in all. 

• guard against dampness and rain, 
lere are blankets — three, four layers! 
te flat pole's too slippery, perhaps? 

•u add nails on nails at both ends! 

tst in iron and copper, the nine-ringed priestly staff. 

ade of bamboo and rattan, the long, large cloak. 

With all this luggage, you should pity old Hog, who has to walk all day carrying it! You only are the disciple of our master: I’ve been 
made into a long-term laborer!” 

“Idiot!” said Pilgrim with a laugh, “to whom are you protesting?” “To you, Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules. “If you’re protesting to 
me,” said Pilgrim, “you’ve made a mistake! Old Monkey is solely concerned with Master’s safety, whereas you and Sha Monk have 
the special responsibility of looking after the luggage and the horse. If you ever slack off, you’ll get a good whipping in the shanks 
from this huge rod!” “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “don’t mention whipping, for that only means taking advantage of others by 
brute force. I realize that you have a proud and haughty nature, and you are not about to pole the luggage. But look how fat and strong 
the horse is that Master is riding: he’s only carrying one old monk. Make him take a few pieces of luggage, for the sake of fraternal 
sentiment!” “So you think he’s a horse!” said Pilgrim. “He’s no earthly horse, for he is originally the son of Aorun, the Dragon King of 
the Western Ocean. Because he set fire to the palace and destroyed some of its pearls, his father charged him with disobedience and he 
was condemned by Heaven. He was fortunate to have the Bodhisattva Guanyin save his life, and he was placed in the Eagle Grief 
Stream to await Master’s arrival. At the appropriate time, the Bodhisattva also appeared personally to take off his scales and horns and 
to remove the pearls around his neck. It was then that he changed into this horse to carry Master to worship Buddha in the Western 
Heaven. This is a matter of achieving merit for each one of us individually, and you shouldn’t bother him.” 

When Sha Monk heard these words, he asked, “Elder Brother, is he really a dragon?” “Yes,” replied Pilgrim. Eight Rules said, 
“Elder Brother, I have heard an ancient saying that a dragon can breathe out clouds and mists, kick up dust and dirt, and he even has 
the ability to leap over mountains and peaks, the divine power to stir up rivers and seas. How is it that he is walking so slowly at the 
moment?” “You want him to move swiftly?” said Pilgrim. “I’ll make him do that. Look!” Dear Great Sage! He shook his golden- 
hooped rod once, and there were ten thousand shafts of colorful lights! When that horse saw the rod, he was so afraid that he might be 
struck by it that he moved his four legs like lightning and darted away. As his hands were weak, the master could not restrain the horse 
from this display of its mean nature. The horse ran all the way up a mountain cliff before slowing down to a trot. The master finally 
caught his breath, and that was when he discovered in the distance several stately buildings beneath some pine trees. He saw 

oors draped by hanging cedars: 
ouses beside a green hill; 
ne trees fresh and straight, 
id some poles of mottled bamboo. 

> the fence wild chrysanthemums glow with the frost: 

> the bridge orchid reflections redden the stream, 
alls of white plaster; 

id fences brick-laid. 

great hall, how noble and august: 

tall house, so peaceful and clean. 

) oxen or sheep are seen, nor hens or dogs. 

'ter autumn's harvest farm chores must be light. 

As the master held on to the saddle and slowly surveyed the scenery, Wukong and his brothers arrived. “Master,” said Wukong, “you 
didn't fall off the horse?” “You brazen ape!” scolded the elder. “You were the one who frightened the horse! It’s a good thing I 
managed to stay on him!” Attempting to placate him with a smile, Pilgrim said, “Master, please don’t scold me. It all began when Zhu 
Eight Rules said that the horse was moving too slowly: so I made him hurry a little.” Because he tried to catch up with the horse, Idiot 
ran till he was all out of breath, mumbling to himself, “I’m done, done! Look at this belly of mine, and the slack torso! Already the 
pole is so heavy that I can hardly carry it. Now I’m given the additional bustle and toil of running after this horse!” “Disciples,” said 
the elder, “look over there. There’s a small village where we may perhaps ask for lodging.” When Pilgrim heard these words, he looked 
up and saw that it was covered by auspicious clouds and hallowed mists. He knew then that this place had to be a creation of buddhas 
or immortals, but he dared not reveal the Heavenly secret. He only said, “Fine! Fine! Let’s go ask for shelter.” 

Quickly dismounting, the elder discovered that the towered entrance gate was decorated with carved lotus designs and looped slits in 
the woodwork; its pillars were carved and its beams gilded. Sha Monk put down the luggage, while Eight Rules led the horse, saying, 
“This must be a family of considerable wealth!” Pilgrim would have gone in at once, but Tripitaka said, “No, you and I are priests, and 
we should behave with circumspection. Don’t ever enter a house without permission. Let’s wait until someone comes out, and then we 
may request lodging politely.” Eight Rules tied up the horse and sat down, leaning against the wall. Tripitaka sat on one of the stone 
drums while Pilgrim and Sha Monk seated themselves at the foot of the gate. They waited for a long time, but no one came out. 
Impatient by nature. Pilgrim leaped up after a while and ran inside the gate to have a look. There were, in fact, three large halls facing 
south, each with its curtains drawn up highly. Above the door screen hung a horizontal scroll painting with motifs of long life and rich 
blessings. And pasted on the gold lacquered pillars on either side was this new year couplet written on bright red paper: 

•ail willows float like gossamer, the low bridge at dusk: 

<ow dots the fragrant plums, a small yard in the spring. 

In the center hall, there was a small black lacquered table, its luster half gone, bearing an old bronze urn in the shape of a beast. There 
were six straight-backed chairs in the main hall, while hanging screens were mounted on the walls east and west just below the roof. 

As Pilgrim was glancing at all this furtively, the sound of footsteps suddenly came from behind the door to the rear, and out walked a 
middle-aged woman who asked in a seductive voice, “Who are you, that you dare enter a widow’s home without permission?” The 
Great Sage was so taken aback that he could only murmur his reply: “This humble monk came from the Great Tang in the Land of the 
East, having received the royal decree to seek scriptures from Buddha in the West. There are four of us altogether. As we reached your 
noble region, it became late, and we therefore approached the sacred abode of the old Bodhisattva to seek shelter for the night.” 
Smiling amiably, the woman said, “Elder, where are your other three companions? Please invite them to come in.” “Master,” shouted 
Pilgrim in a loud voice, “you are invited to come in.” Only then did Tripitaka enter with Eight Rules and Sha Monk, who was leading 
the horse and carrying the luggage as well. The woman walked out of the hall to greet them, where she was met by the furtive, wanton 
glances of Eight Rules. “How did she look?” you ask. 

\e wore a gown of mandarin green and silk brocade, 
pped by a light pink vest, 

• which was fastened a light yellow embroidered skirt; 

zr high-heeled, patterned shoes glinted beneath. 

black lace covered her stylish coiffure, 

cely matching the twin-colored braids like dragons coiled. 

zr ivory palace-comb, gleaming red and halcyon-blue, 

pported two gold hair-pins set aslant. 

zr half-grey tresses swept up like phoenix wings; 

zr dangling earrings had rows of precious pearls. 

ill lovely even without powder or rouge, 

<e had charm and beauty like one fair youth. 

When the woman saw the three of them, she became even more amiable and invited them with great politeness into the main hall. 
After they had exchanged greetings one after the other, the pilgrims were told to be seated for tea to be served. From behind the screen 
a young maid with two tufts of flowing locks appeared, holding a golden tray with several white-jade cups. There were 

■agrant tea wafting warm air, 
range fruits spreading fine aroma. 

That lady rolled up her colorful sleeves and revealed long, delicate fingers like the stalks of spring onions; holding high the jade cups, 
she passed the tea to each one of them, bowing as she made the presentation. After the tea, she gave instructions for vegetarian food to 
be prepared. “Old Bodhisattva,” said Tripitaka bowing, “what is your noble surname? And what is the name of your esteemed region?” 
The woman said, “This belongs to the West Aparagodanlya Continent. My maiden surname is Jia (Unreal), and the surname of my 
husband’s family is Mo (Nonexisting). Unfortunately, my in-laws died prematurely, and my husband and I inherited our ancestral 
fortune, which amounted to more than ten thousand taels of silver and over fifteen thousand acres of prime land. It was fated, however, 
that we should have no son, having given birth only to three daughters. The year before last, it was my great misfortune to lose my 
husband also, and I was left a widow. This year my mourning period is completed, but we have no other relatives beside mother and 
daughters to inherit our vast property and land. I would have liked to marry again, but I find it difficult to give up such wealth. We are 
delighted, therefore, that the four of you have arrived, for we four, mother and daughters, would like very much to ask you to become 

our spouses. I do not know what you will think of this proposal.” 

When Tripitaka heard these words, he turned deaf and dumb; shutting his eyes to quiet his mind, he fell silent and gave no reply. The 
woman said, “We own over three hundred acres of paddies, over four hundred and sixty acres of dried fields, and over four hundred 
and sixty acres of orchards and forests. We have over a thousand head of yellow water buffalo, herds of mules and horses, countless 
pigs and sheep. In all four quarters, there are over seventy bams and haystacks. In this household there is grain enough to feed you for 
more than eight or nine years, silk that you could not wear out in a decade, gold and silver that you might spend for a lifetime. What 
could be more delightful than our silk sheets and curtains, which can render spring eternal? Not to mention those who wear golden 
hairpins standing in rows! If all of you, master and disciples, are willing to change your minds and enter the family of your wives, you 
will be most comfortable, having all these riches to enjoy. Will that not be better than the toil of the journey to the West?” Like a mute 
and stupid person, Tripitaka refused to utter a word. 

The woman said, “I was bom in the hour of the Cock, on the third day of the third month, in the year Dinghai. As my deceased 
husband was three years my senior, I am now forty-five years old. My eldest daughter, named Zhenzhen, is twenty; my second 
daughter, Aiai, is eighteen; and my youngest daughter, Lianlian, is sixteen . 2 None of them has been betrothed to anyone. Though I am 
rather homely, my daughters fortunately are rather good-looking. Moreover, each of them is well trained in needlework and the 
feminine arts. And because we had no son, my late husband brought them up as if they were boys, teaching them some of the 
Confucian classics when they were young as well as the art of writing verse and couplets. So, although they reside in a mountain home, 
they are not vulgar or uncouth persons; they would make suitable matches, I dare say, for all of you. If you elders can put away your 
inhibitions and let your hair grow again, you can at once become masters of this household. Are not the silk and brocade that you will 
wear infinitely better than the porcelain almsbowl and black robes, the straw sandals and grass hats?” 

Sitting aloft in the seat of honor, Tripitaka was like a child struck by lightning, a frog smitten by rain. With eyes bulging and rolling 
upward, he could barely keep himself from keeling over in his chair. But Eight Rules, hearing of such wealth and such beauty, could 
hardly quell the unbearable itch in his heart! Sitting on his chair, he kept turning and twisting as if a needle were pricking him in the 
ass. Finally he could restrain himself no longer. Walking forward, he tugged at his master, saying, “Master! How can you completely 
ignore what the lady has been saying to you? You must try to pay some attention.” Jerking back his head, the priest gave such a hostile 
shout that Eight Rules backed away hurriedly. “You cursed beast!” he bellowed. “We are people who have left home. How can we 
possibly allow ourselves anymore to be moved by riches and tempted by beauty?” 

Giggling, the woman said, “Oh dear, dear! Tell me, what’s so good about those who leave home?” “Lady Bodhisattva,” said 
Tripitaka, “tell me what is so good about those of you who remain at home?” “Please take a seat, elder,” said the woman, “and let me 
tell you the benefits in the life of those of us who remain at home. If you ask what they are, this poem will make them abundantly clear. 

hen spring fashions appear I wear new silk; 
eased to watch summer lilies I change to lace, 
itumn brings fragrant rice-wine newly brewed, 
winter s heated rooms my face glows with wine, 
nay enjoy the fruits of all four climes 
id every dainty of eight seasons, too. 
te silk sheets and quilts of the bridal eve 
;st the mendicant's life of Buddhist chants. ” 

Tripitaka said, “Lady Bodhisattva, you who remain in the home can enjoy riches and glory; you have things to eat, clothes to wear, and 
children by your side. That is undeniably a good life, but you do not know that there are some benefits in the life of those of us who 
have left home. If you ask what they are, this poem will make them abundantly clear. 

ie will to leave home is no common thing: 

•u must tear down the old stronghold of love! 
y cares without, tongue and mouth are at peace; 

•ur body within has good yin and yang, 
hen merit’s done, you face the Golden Arch 
id go hack, mind enlightened, to your Home, 
beats the life of lust for household meat: 

•u rot with age, one stinking bag of flesh! ” 

When the woman heard these words, she grew terribly angry, saying, “How dare you to be so insolent, you brazen monk! If I had 
had no regard for the fact that you have come from the Land of the East, I would have sent you away at once. Now, I was trying to ask 
you, with all sincerity, to enter our family and share our wealth, and you insult me instead. Even though you have received the 
commandments and made the vow never to return to secular life, at least one of your followers could become a member of our family. 
Why are you being so legalistic?” 

Seeing how angry she had become, Tripitaka was intimidated and said, “Wukong, why don’t you stay here.” Pilgrim said, “I’ve been 
completely ignorant in such matters since the time I was young. Let Eight Rules stay.” “Elder Brother,” said Eight Rules, “don’t play 
tricks on people. Let’s all have some further discussion.” “If neither of you is willing,” said Tripitaka, “I’ll ask Wujing to stay.” “Listen 
to the way Master is speaking!” said Sha Monk. “Since I was converted by the Bodhisattva and received the commandments from her, 
I’ve been waiting for you. It has been scarcely two months since you took me as your disciple and gave me your teachings, and I have 
yet to acquire even half an inch of merit. You think I would dare seek such riches! I will journey to the Western Heaven even if it 
means my death! I’ll never engage in such perfidious activities!” When the woman saw them refusing to remain, she quickly walked 
behind the screen and slammed the door to the rear. Master and disciples were left outside, and no one came out again to present tea or 

Exasperated, Eight Rules began to find fault with the Tang Monk, saying, “Master, you really don’t know how to handle these 
matters! In fact, you have ruined all our chances by the way you spoke! You could have been more flexible and given her a vague reply 
so that she would at least have given us a meal. We would at least have enjoyed a pleasant evening, and whether we would be willing 
to stay tomorrow or not would have been for us to decide. Now the door is shut and no one is going to come out. How are we going to 
last through the night in the midst of these empty ashes and cold stoves?” 

“Second Brother,” said Wujing, “why don’t you stay here and become her son-in-law?” Eight Rules said, “Brother, don’t play tricks 
on people. Let’s discuss the matter further.” “What’s there to discuss?” said Pilgrim. “If you are willing. Master and that woman will 
become in-laws, and you will be the son-in-law who lives in the girl’s home. With such riches and such treasures in this family, you 
will no doubt be given a huge dowry and a nice banquet to greet the kinsfolk, which all of us can also enjoy. Your return to secular life 
here will in fact benefit both parties concerned.” “You can say that all right,” said Eight Rules, “but for me it’s a matter of fleeing the 
secular life only to return to secular life, of leaving my wife only to take another wife.” 

“So, Second Brother already has a wife?” said Sha Monk. “You didn’t realize,” Pilgrim said, “that originally he was the son-in-law 
of Mr. Gao of the Old Gao Village, in the Kingdom of Qoco. Since I defeated him, and since he had earlier received the 
commandments from the Bodhisattva, he had little choice but to follow the priestly vocation. That’s the reason he abandoned his 
former wife to follow Master and to go worship Buddha in the Western Heaven. I suppose he has felt the separation keenly and has 
been brooding on it for some time. Just now, when marriage was mentioned, he must have been sorely tempted. Idiot, why don’t you 
become the son-in-law of this household? Just make sure that you make a few extra bows to old Monkey, and you won’t be 
reprimanded!” “Nonsense! Nonsense!” said Idiot. “Each one of us is tempted, but you only want old Hog to be embarrassed. The 
proverb says, ‘A monk is the preta of sensuality,’ and which one of us can truly say that he doesn’t want this? But you have to put on a 
show, and your histrionics have ruined a good thing. Now we can’t even get a drop of tea or water, and no one is tending the lamps or 
fires. We may last through the night, but I doubt that the horse can: he has to carry someone tomorrow and walk again, you know. If he 
goes hungry for a night, he might be reduced to a skeleton. You people sit here, while old Hog goes to graze the horse.” Hastily, Idiot 
untied the reins and pulled the horse outside. “Sha Monk,” said Pilgrim, “you stay here and keep Master company. I’ll follow him and 
see where he is going to graze the horse.” “Wukong,” said Tripitaka, “you may go and see where he’s going, but don’t ridicule him.” “I 
know,” said Pilgrim. The Great Sage walked out of the main hall, and with one shake of his body he changed into a red dragonfly. He 
flew out of the front gate and caught up with Eight Rules. 

Idiot pulled the horse out to where there was grass, but he did not graze him there. Shouting and whooping, he chased the horse 
instead to the rear of the house, where he found the woman standing outside the door with three girls, enjoying the sight of some 
chrysanthemums. When mother and daughters saw Eight Rules approaching, the three girls slipped inside the house at once, but the 
woman stood still beside the door and said, “little elder, where are you going?” Our Idiot threw away the reins and went up to greet her 
with a most friendly “Hello!” Then he said, “Mama, I came to graze the horse.” “Your master is much too squeamish,” said the 
woman. “If he took a wife in our family, he would be much better off, wouldn’t he, than being a mendicant trudging to the West?” 
“Well, they all have received the command of the Tang emperor,” said Eight Rules, with a laugh, “and they haven’t the courage to 
disobey the ruler’s decree. That’s why they are unwilling to do this thing. Just now they were all trying to play tricks on me in the front 
hall, and I was somewhat embarrassed because I was afraid that Mama would find my long snout and large ears too offensive.” “I 
don’t, really.” said the woman. “And since we have no master of the house, it’s better to take one than none at all. But I do fear that my 
daughters may find you somewhat unattractive.” “Mama,” said Eight Rules, “please instruct your noble daughters not to choose their 
men that way. Others may be more handsome, but they usually turn out to be quite useless. Though I may be ugly, I do live by certain 
principles.” “And what are they?” asked the woman. Eight Rules replied, 

hough I may be somewhat ugly, 

'.an work quite diligently, 
thousand acres of land, you say? 

) need for oxen to plow it. 

7 go over it once with my rake, 
id the seeds will grow in season, 
hen there’s no rain I can make rain, 
hen there's no wind I’ll call for wind, 
the house is not tall enough, 

7 build you a few stories more. 

the grounds are not swept I’ll give them a sweep. 

the gutter’s not drained I’ll draw it for you. 

I things both great and small around the house 
im able to do most readily. ” 

“If you can work around the house,” said the woman, “you should discuss the matter again with your master. If there’s no great 
inconvenience, we’ll take you.” “No need for further discussion,” said Eight Rules, “for he’s no genuine parent of mine. Whether I 
want to do this or not is for me to decide.” “All right, all right,” said the woman. “Let me talk to my girls first.” She slipped back inside 
immediately and slammed the rear door shut. Eight Rules did not graze the horse there either, but led it back to the front. Little did he 
realize, however, that Great Sage Sun had heard everything. With wings outstretched, the Great Sage flew back to see the Tang Monk, 
changing back into his original form. “Master,” he said, “Wuneng is leading the horse back here.” “Of course he’s leading the horse,” 
said the Tang Monk, “for if he doesn’t, it may run away in a fit of mischief.” Pilgrim started to laugh and gave a thorough account of 
what the woman and Eight Rules had said, but Tripitaka did not know whether to believe him or not. 

In a little while Idiot arrived and tied up the horse. “Have you grazed him?” asked the elder. “There’s not much good grass around 
here,” said Eight Rules, “so it’s really no place to graze a horse.” “It may not be a place to graze the horse,” said Pilgrim, “but is it a 
place to lead a horse ?” 3 When Idiot heard this question, he knew that his secret was known. He lowered his head and turned it to one 
side; with pouting lips and wrinkled brows, he remained silent for a long time. Just then, they heard the side door open with a creak, 
and out came a pair of red lanterns and a pair of portable incense burners. There were swirling clouds of fragrance and the sounds of 
tinkling girdle-jade when the woman walked out leading her three daughters. Zhenzhen, Aiai, and Lianlian were told to bow to the 
scripture pilgrims, and as they did so, standing in a row at the main hall, they appeared to be most beautiful indeed. Look at them! 

ich mothlike eyebrow painted halcyon-blue: 
ich pretty face aglow with springlike hues, 
hat beguiling, empire-shaking beauty! 
hat ravishing, heart-jolting charm! 
teir filigreed headgears enhance their grace; 

Ik sashes afloat, they seem wholly divine, 
ke ripe cherries their lips part, half-smiling, 

: they walk slowly and spread their orchid-scent, 
teir heads full ofpearls and jade 
op countless hairpins slightly trembling, 
teir bodies full of delicate aroma, 

\rouded by exquisite robes of fine golden thread, 
hy speak of lovely ladies of the South, 
r the good looks of Xizi?^ 

ley look like the fairy ladies descending from the Ninefold Heaven, 

*■ the Princess Change leaving her Vast Cold Palace. 

When he saw them, Tripitaka lowered his head and folded his hands in front of him, while the Great Sage became mute and Sha 
Monk turned away completely. But look at that Zhu Eight Rules! With eyes unblinking, a mind filled with lust, and passion fast rising, 
he murmured huskily, “What an honor it is to have the presence of you immortal ladies! Mama, please ask these dear sisters to leave.” 
The three girls went behind the screen, leaving the pair of lanterns behind. 

The woman said, “Have you four elders made up your mind which one of you shall be betrothed to my daughters?” “We have 
discussed the matter,” said Wujing, “and we have decided that the one whose surname is Zhu shall enter your family.” 

“Brother,” said Eight Rules, “please don’t play any tricks on me. Let’s discuss the matter further.” 

“What’s there to discuss?” said Pilgrim. “You have already made all the arrangements with her at the back door, and even call her 
‘Mama.’ What’s there to discuss anymore? Master can be the in-law for the groom while this woman here will give away the bride; old 
Monkey will be the witness, and Sha Monk the go-between. There’s no need even to consult the almanac, for today happens to be the 
most auspicious and lucky day. You come here and bow to Master, and then you can go inside and become her son-in-law.” “Nothing 
doing! Nothing doing!” said Eight Rules. “How can I engage in this kind of business?” 

“Idiot!” said Pilgrim. “Stop this fakery! You have addressed her as ‘Mama’ for countless times already! What do you mean by 
‘nothing doing’? Agree to this at once, so that we may have the pleasure of enjoying some wine at the wedding.” He caught hold of 
Eight Rules with one hand and pulled at the woman with the other, saying, “Mother-in-law, take your son-in-law inside.” Somewhat 
hesitantly, Idiot started to shuffle inside, while the woman gave instructions to a houseboy, saying, “Take out some tables and chairs 
and wipe them clean. Prepare a vegetarian dinner to serve these three relatives of ours. I’m leading our new master inside.” She further 
gave instructions for the cook to begin preparation for a wedding banquet to be held the next morning. The houseboys then left to tell 
the cook. After the three pilgrims had eaten their meal, they retired to the guest rooms, and we shall say no more of them for the 

We now tell you about Eight Rules, who followed his mother-in-law and walked inside. There were row upon row of doorways and 
chambers with tall thresholds, causing him constantly to stumble and fall. “Mama,” said Idiot, “please walk more slowly. I’m not 
familiar with the way here, so you must guide me a little.” The woman said, “These are all the storerooms, the treasuries, the rooms 
where the flour is ground. We have yet to reach the kitchen.” “What a huge house!” said Eight Rules. Stumbling along a winding 
course, he walked for a long time before finally reaching the inner chamber of the house. “Son-in-law,” said the woman, “since your 
brother said that today is a most auspicious and lucky day, I have taken you in. In all this hurry, we have not had the chance of 
consulting an astrologer, nor have we been prepared for the proper wedding ceremony of worshiping Heaven and Earth and of 
spreading grains and fruits on the bridal bed. Right now, why don’t you kowtow eight times toward the sky?” “You are right, Mama,” 
said Eight Rules. “You take the upper seat also, and let me bow to you a few times. We’ll consider that my worship of Heaven and 
Earth as well as my gesture of gratitude to you. Doing these two things at once will save me some trouble.” “All right, all right,” said 
his mother-in-law, laughing. “You are indeed a son-in-law who knows how to fulfill your household duties with the least effort. I’ll sit 
down, and you can make your bows.” 

The candles on silver candlesticks were shining brightly throughout the hall as Idiot made his bows. Afterwards he said, “Mama, 
which one of the dear sisters do you plan to give me?” 

“That’s my dilemma,” said his mother-in-law. “I was going to give you my eldest daughter, but I was afraid of offending my second 
daughter. I was going to give you my second daughter, but I was afraid then of offending my third daughter. And if I were to give you 
my third daughter, I fear that my eldest daughter may be offended. That’s why I cannot make up my mind.” 

“Mama,” said Eight Rules, “if you want to prevent strife, why not give them all to me? That way, you will spare yourself a lot of 
bickering that can destroy the harmony of the family.” 

“Nonsense!” said his mother-in-law. “You mean you alone want to take all three of my daughters?” 

“Listen to what you’re saying, Mama!” said Eight Rules. “Who doesn’t have three or four concubines nowadays? Even if you have a 
few more daughters, I’ll gladly take them all. When I was young, 1 learned how to be long-lasting in the arts of love. You can be 
assured that I’ll render satisfactory service to every one of them.” 

“That’s no good! That’s no good!” said the woman. “I have a large handkerchief here, with which you can cover your head, 
blindfold yourself, and determine your fated marriage that way. I’m going to ask my daughters to walk past you, and the one you can 
catch with your hands will be betrothed to you.” Idiot accepted her suggestion and covered his head with his handkerchief. We have a 
testimonial poem that says: 

ie fool knows not the true causes of things; 

>auty’s sword can in secret wound the self, 
ie Duke of Zhou of old had fixed the rites, 
it a bridegroom today still veils his head! 

After Idiot had tied himself up properly, he said, “Mama, ask the dear sisters to come out.” “Zhenzhen, Aiai, Lianlian,” cried his 
mother-in-law, “you all come out and determine your fated marriage, so that one of you may be given to this man.” 

With the sounds of girdle-jade and the fragrance of orchids, it seemed that some immortal ladies had suddenly appeared. Idiot indeed 
stretched forth his hands to try to catch hold of one of the girls, but though he darted about madly this way and that, he could not lay 
hands on anyone on either side of him. It seemed to him, to be sure, that the girls were making all kinds of movement around hint, but 
he could not grab a single one of them. He lunged toward the east and wrapped his arms around a pillar; he made a dive toward the 
west and slammed into a wooden partition. Growing faint from rushing about like that, he began to stumble and fall all over the place 

—tripping on the threshold in front of him, smashing into the brick wall behind hint! Fumbling and tumbling around, he ended up 
sitting on the floor with a bruised head and a swollen mouth. 

“Mama,” he cried, panting heavily, “you have a bunch of slippery daughters! I can’t catch a single one of them! What am I to do? 
What am I to do?” Taking off his blindfold, the woman said, “Son-in-law, it’s not that my daughters are slippery; it’s just that they are 
all very modest. Each defers to the other so that she may take you.” 

“If they are unwilling to take me. Mama,” said Eight Rules, “why don’t you take me instead?” 

“Dear son-in-law,” said the woman, “you really have no regard for age or youth, when you even want your mother-in-law! My three 
daughters are really quite talented, for each one of them has woven a silk undershirt studded with pearls. Try them on, and the one 
whose shirt fits you will take you in.” 

“Fine! Fine! Fine!” said Eight Rules. “Bring out all three undershirts and let me try them on. If all fit me, they can all have me.” The 
woman went inside and took out one undershirt, which she handed over to Eight Rules. Taking off his blue silk shirt, Idiot took up the 
undergarment and draped it over his body at once. Before he had managed to tie the strings, however, he suddenly fell to the floor. The 
undershirt, you see, had changed into several pieces of rope which had him tightly bound. As he lay there in unbearable pain, the 
women vanished. 

We now tell you about Tripitaka, Pilgrim, and Sha Monk, who woke up when it began to grow light in the East. As they opened their 
eyes, they discovered that all the noble halls and buildings had vanished. There were neither carved beams nor gilded pillars, for the 
truth of the matter was that they had all been sleeping in a forest of pines and cedars. In a panic, the elder began to shout for Pilgrim, 
and Sha Monk also cried, “Elder Brother, we are finished! We have met some ghosts!” The Great Sage Sun, however, realized fully 
what had happened. Smiling gently, he said, “What are you talking about?” 

“Look where we’ve been sleeping!” cried the elder. 

“It’s pleasant enough in this pine forest,” said Pilgrim, “but I wonder where that Idiot is going through his ordeal.” 

“Who is going through an ordeal?” asked the elder. 

Pilgrim answered with a laugh. “The women of that household happened to be some bodhisattvas from somewhere, who had waited 
for us to teach us a lesson. They must have left during the night, but unfortunately Zhu Eight Rules has to suffer.” When Tripitaka 
heard this, he quickly folded his hands to make a bow. Then they saw a slip of paper hanging on an old cedar tree, fluttering in the 
wind. Sha Monk quickly took it down for his master to read. On it was written the following eight-line poem: 

lough the old Dame of Li Shan ^ had no desire, 
uanyin invited her to leave the mount, 
ahjusri and Visvabhadra, too, were guests 
ho took in the woods the form of maidens fair, 
te holy monk's virtuous and truly chaste, 
it Eight Rules’s profane, loving things mundane, 
mceforth he must repent with quiet heart, 

)r if he's slothful, the way will be hard. 

As the elder. Pilgrim, and Sha Monk recited this poem aloud, they heard a loud call from deep in the woods: “Master, the ropes are 
killing me! Save me, please! I’ll never dare do this again!” 

“Wukong,” said Tripitaka, “is it Wuneng who is calling us?” 

“Yes,” said Sha Monk. “Brother,” said Pilgrim, “don’t bother about him. Let us leave now.” 

“Though Idiot is stupid and mischievous,” said Tripitaka, “he is at least fairly honest, and he has arms strong enough to carry the 
luggage. Let’s have some regard for the Bodhisattva’s earlier intention, let’s rescue hint so that he may continue to follow us. I doubt 
that he’ll ever dare do this again.” Sha Monk thereupon rolled up the bedding and put the luggage in order, after which Great Sage Sun 
untied the horse to lead the Tang Monk into the woods to see what had happened. Ah! So it is that 

•u must take care in the pursuit of truth 
• purge desires, and you ’ll enter the Real. 


At Long Life Mountain the Great Immortal detains his old friend; 

At 5 Villages Abbey, Pilgrim steals the ginseng^ fruit. 

We shall tell you about the three of them who, on entering the forest, found Idiot tied to a tree. He was screaming continuously because 
of the unbearable pain. Pilgrim approached and said to him, laughing, “Dear son-in-law! It’s getting rather late, and you still haven’t 
got around to performing the proper ceremony of thanking your parents or announcing your marriage to Master. You are still having a 
grand old time playing games here! Hey! Where’s your mama? Where’s your wife? What a dear son-in-law, all bound and beaten!” 
When Idiot heard such ridicule, he was so mortified that he clenched his teeth to try to endure the pain without making any more noise. 
Sha Monk, however, could not bear to look at him; he put down the luggage and went forward to untie the ropes. After he was freed, 
Idiot could only drop to his knees and kowtow toward the sky, for he was filled with shame. For him we have as a testimony this lyric 
to the tune of “Moon Over West River”: 

■os is a sword injurious: 
ve by it and you will be slain, 
le lady so fair and lovely at sixteen 
more vicious than a yaksa! 

•u have but one principal sum; 

•u can't add profit to your purse. 

uard and keep well your precious capital, 

hich you must not squander and waste. 

Scooping up some dirt and scattering it like incense, Eight Rules bowed to the sky. “Did you recognize those bodhisattvas at all?” 
asked Pilgrim. “I was in a stupor, about to faint,” replied Eight Rules. “How could I recognize anyone?” Pilgrim then handed him the 
slip of paper. When Eight Rules saw the gcithd, he was more embarrassed than ever. “Second Brother does have all the luck,” said Sha 
Monk with a laugh, “for you have attracted these four bodhisattvas here to become your wives!” “Brother,” said Eight Rules, “let’s not 
ever mention that again! It’s blasphemy! From now on, I’ll never dare do such foolish things again. Even if it breaks my bones, I’ll 
carry the pole and luggage to follow Master to the West.” “You are finally speaking sensibly,” said Tripitaka. 

Pilgrim then led his master up the main road, and after journeying for a long time, they suddenly came upon a tall mountain. Pulling 
in the reins, Tripitaka said, “Disciples, let’s be careful as we travel up this mountain before us, for there may be monsters seeking to 
harm us.” “Ahead of your horse you have the three of us,” said Pilgrim. “Why fear the monsters?” Reassured by these words, the elder 
proceeded. That mountain is truly a magnificent mountain: 

tall mountain most rugged, 

: shape both lofty and grand. 

■ root joins the Kunlun ^ ranges; 

: top reaches to the sky. 
hite cranes come oft to perch on junipers; 
ack apes hang frequently on the vines, 
the sun lights up the forest, 
rands upon strands of red mist are circling; 

: wind rises from dark gorges, 
n thousand pink cloud pieces soar and fly. 

•dden birds sing madly in green bamboos; 
teasants do battle amidst wildfiowers. 

•u see that Thousand-Year Peak, 

lat Five-Blessings ^ Peak, 

id the Hibiscus Peak — 

ley all glow and shimmer most awesomely; 

tat Ageless Rock, 

rnt Tiger-Tooth Rock, 

id that Three-Heaven Rock — 

here auspicious air rises endlessly. 

:low the cliff, delicate grass; 

op the ridge, fragrant plum. 

te thorns and briars are thick; 

i e orchids are pale and pure. 

te deep woods’s phoenix musters a thousand fowls; 

i old cave's unicorn rules countless beasts. 

>en the brook seems caring: 

\e twists and turns as if looking back, 
te peaks are continuous: 
nv upon row circling all around. 

•u also see those green locust trees, ^ 

lose mottled bamboos, 

id those verdant pines — 

vals ever fresh in their dense lushness; 

lose pears milk-white, 

lose peaches red, 

id those willows green — 

/ competing in their Triple-Spring hues. 
r agons sing and tigers roar; 
te cranes dance and the apes wail; 
te musk deer from flowers walk out; 
te phoenix cries facing the sun. 
s a mount divine, land of true blessings, 
te same as Penglai, wondrous fairy land. 

■e those flowers blooming and dying—this mountain scene, 
here clouds draw near or leave the soaring peaks. 

With great delight, Tripitaka said as he rode along, “Disciples, since I began this journey to the West, I have passed through many 

regions, all rather treacherous and difficult to traverse. None of the other places has scenery like this mountain, whi